monday 23 Sept – harvest 2019 update


My home domaine finished their harvest on Thursday, and many others are also done, but that wasn’t the case in the Hautes Côtes, the Côte de Nuits or even Chablis and Beaujolais where they still had much work to do:

On Friday the vast majority of the Côte de Beaune was finished, though small plots in Beaune, Pommard and Volnay were still unpicked – I estimated that they represented much less than 5% of the total. David Croix, a premier source for Beaune 1ers, also finished picking on Thursday and told me that it was looking like a great vintage, particularly he is impressed with the balance at this early stage. Further afield, Chablis and Beaujolais were well into ramping up their harvests – all of the early-ripening plots were already picked – and much of the heavy-lifting was now done – but they were still some way from finishing. At this stage the majority of the later-starting domaines in the Côte de Nuits were now picking, Domaine Grivot were picking their villages Vosnes this day.

On Saturday Heresztyn-Mazzini, who had started harvesting on Thursday, were picking their Clos St.Denis, and it was another beautiful day for the pickers: Light just before 7am and warming under a generous sun throughout the day – the cold wind of Tuesday-Wednesday already forgotten. The later pickers would have to make the most of this weather though because on Sunday it would change with a bang!

Sunday. Domaine Leflaive was still action – but in their plots of Mâcon – Lafon having largely finished here. Domaines Louis Moreau plus Nathalie, Julie & Gilles Fèvre were picking their last grapes in Chablis, whereas Château Poncié in Fleurie were on their first day of harvesting. Domaine Grivot were picking Echézeaux and Domaines Henri Gouges and Comte Liger-Belair were now finished. The day had started like all the others in this harvest – sunny and clear – by the early afternoon, all was cloud, then about 4pm in the Côte de Nuits – bang! – thunder, lightning and very heavy rain for a time. Everywhere had their share of rain yesterday, however, in the Côte d’Or, it was Vosne that saw the most with over 40mm – like everywhere, the only rain of the week. As a little context; 2018 is thought of as a dry year – certainly the summer – but 2019 has seen only 50-75% of the rainfall of 2018!

Marko de Morey is in action – indeed, lost somewhere in action, in Vosne for the moment – but he told me that he was happy that he’d packed his waterproof gear – saying that after yesterday’s ‘Biblical deluge’ it was going to be very different underfoot this week. At least Monday morning has started with half-clear skies, though the boots are muddy for both Felettig and Amiot-Servelle in Chambolle who were both on their last day of harvesting!

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