At the start of the 2017 vintage, there is great optimism in the Loire Valley. Sunny days and fresh nights at the end of August have been exactly what was needed for the grapes on the vine. Vintage 2017 is set to be of high quality, thanks also to healthy conditions in the vines throughout the growing period, and a very satisfying balance of sugar and acid in the grapes.
Harvesting has started early, around 15 days earlier than in 2016, with the first picking on the 28 August in Anjou-Saumur for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes destined for the production of Crémant de Loire, Anjou and sparkling Saumur. Harvest followed in Muscadet on 1 September as well as in Touraine for Crémant, and the Gamays and Grolleau destined for Rosé d’Anjou and Rosé-de-Loire. The first Sauvignon grapes were harvested in Touraine on 5 September. It is expected that Chenin and Cabernet franc harvests will commence between 10-15 September.
The frost effect
The only negative element in 2017 was the April frost which destroyed buds in the Spring in some parts of the vineyard. However, in total it is estimated that volumes in 2017 will exceed those of 2016, to arrive at a figure that is about the average over the last five years (2 million hl). Forecasts are that the quality of this vintage will be high.