I initially thought that he was the first – he’s certainly in the vanguard – but although Benoit Ente of Puligny-Montrachet started picking the first of his 2018 whites today, he was beaten by his brother Arnaud who started yesterday. The siblings are not alone; Chandon de Briailles – hardly an early picker – picked Corton-Charlemagne today ‘that was perfectly ripe.‘
Doimaine Hubert Lamy plan to cut their first grapes tomorrow…
According to various sources, the ripeness is quite variable right now – including Véronique Drouhin – who, like my own harvest home-domaine (all Côte de Beaune vines) begins her picking next week – it will be a Tuesday the 28th start for me – but most of the Côte de Nuits is still waiting. David Croix confirms that the maturity is variable but tells me “Well, Corton reds are ripe and ready while most of the rest suffers from the drought. I haven’t decided yet when we will start.”
It’s reported that there is a general backdrop – just like last year – of difficulty finding harvesters, France Bleu noting last week that there were still 1,600 open positions. Interesting to note in the reportage, that if you pay an agency to bring 25 pickers, you will be paying them €4,000 per hectare. Reasons provided for the shortage of pickers/porters seem to be a combination of new laws about providing accommodation, low unemployment and not just an early start to the vintage, but also an early start to the academic year for students. One can only imagine how much more difficult it might have been if the harvest was in a cold and wet period in October!
Anyway Domaine Boyer-Martenot took to Twitter today to try to fill their harvest team – and it worked:
Merci à tous pour vos partages sur les réseaux, en moins de 3h nous avons complété notre équipe de #vendangeurs !
Maintenant au boulot, mise en bouteille des 2017, nettoyage, mise en place, … tout s’accélère, les #vendanges2018 sont là !
Bonne #récolte à tous.#vinsdebourgognepic.twitter.com/XcUqpwbLYk
— Domaine Boyer-Martenot (@BoyerMartenot) August 21, 2018