The 2020 harvest started this week in AOC Fitou, Languedoc-Roussillon, a week earlier than last year, and the first time harvests start in July in France. Such precocity is exceptional but it illustrates well the general trend which has been emerging over the past 50 years.
In Alsace in 1969, the harvest started on October 13. In 2015, it was September 7th. In the 1970s, the harvest started only once in September. Since 2000, they have always started in September.
In Burgundy, in the 1960s, the harvest started on September 19 at the earliest. Since 2000, they have already started twice in August: August 13 in 2007 and August 19 in 2003. The 10 earliest harvests took place after 1992.
In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we notice the same trend: September 25 in 1945, and September 9 in 2016. In the 1950s, the harvest always started after September 25. In the 60s and 70s, they started on September 10. And since the 2000s, they have never started after September 11.
In Bordeaux, the harvest dates remain rather stable. In 1900, the harvest began on September 24. In 2016, it was September 21. The alcohol by volume increased by almost 2% though with Bordeaux wine at 14% becoming common.
As the global temperature goes up, grapes maturity and precocity increase, benefiting some regions and threatening others. How do you think this will affect your favorite wines in the near future?
Harvest are still ongoing in France and 2020 vintage already looks promising.
The French ministry of agriculture estimates national wine production around 45 million hectolitres (+6% from 2019), within 5 years average.
Here are the forecasts of French wine production for 2020 by type of wine and by region.
Looking forward to trying these wines!