Yesterday saw the early harvesters – or more their early parcels – at work across Burgundy; Chablis, Mâconnais and Beaujolais, not just the producers in the Côte de Beaune.
The Côte de Nuits still seems to have much time available; today practically the only team I saw in the vines, so far north of Beaune, was the team of Joseph Drouhin in their Griotte-Chambertin – but they do have plenty of young vines here. Heading south it was only as you approached the hill of Corton where you could see harvesting teams in action – this continued in the flat-lands of Aloxe and a little in Chorey too.
The harvest has been 95% reds so far, but today saw some of the best-known domaines of the Côte de Beaune in the vines – Lafon, for example, harvesting his old vines in Meursault-Perrières.
Asking a few Côte de Nuits producers about how their harvest-timing was looking:
David Rossignol at Rossignol-Trapet: “On Monday we tested the grapes in our various parcels. Generally, we had maturities of 11.8-12° so are planning to start our harvest in 8 days.”
Frederic Mugnier: “I’m not planning to start for another week – but that will still be a new record for early harvesting here. There have been some days of high temperatures this year but unlike 2003, a vintage that was marked by its heat, I see 2020 as a vintage that has been marked by its dryness.”
Laurent Ponsot: “I am planning to start on the 10th of September – I still have time to take some holidays!”
Now that Pierre Damoy is considering an earlier start – 08 September – it looks like we have our ‘bookends’ in terms of first and last starters! It’s clear that the maturity is far from homogenous north of Beaune, as can be seen from incomplete veraison in my pics below from Grands-Echézeaux.
My home domaine in Beaune began its harvest today with their villages and premier crus in Savigny – reds. They had originally planned to start on the 24th, so the switch to today caught me out with appointments in the Côte de Nuits (hence the quotes, above) but tomorrow I will be ready to get my hands dirty. They also brought in Corton Renardes at 13.4°. So far, the domaine team love the quality but not the quantity – the dry weather has delivered around 30 hl/ha in the vines harvested so far. The domaine was finished recieving grapes already at 2 pm as they decided that it was too warm to harvest in the afternoon. We will do the same tomorrow; pickers in the vines at first light – 06h30 – and all done by lunch, though clearly a 2 pm lunch – not 12! More details on that tomorrow.