"Harvest in full summer". If I had been told 40 years ago that one day we would be harvesting mid-August, I would have smiled at the mention of such a far-fetched idea... And yet that's what happened in this funny year 2017. It all started with clever rains over the winter, smart as Dominique would say, sweet and long. A benefic rains that penetrate the ground and do not run furiously to the first ditch. It will be seen later that this opportune reserve of water will be of great help to pass without hindrance the long drought of summer.
But before this summer heat wave, we were really warm, in the trivial sense of the term. The two mornings where the frost hit. Fortunately not too much damage to Vingrau. Only a few twigs have blown up in the white grenache of Camp du Figuier. It was not long: one or two degrees less and it was all the vineyards of the circus of Vingrau that would have drunk ... We were happy to have passed through the vicissitudes of the end of winter that did not want to let go of the game The rest, we know it: a sweet spring, quickly overtaken by an early summer furnace style. In short a precocity that some felt because the veraison itself had more than a week in advance.
Beginning of the harvest scheduled the next day of August 15th. Unfortunately our harvesters, used to starting around the 25th, were not available or reachable. We have therefore delayed this beginning of harvest to attack with a slight delay. The whites, Grenache in the lead, were waiting for us. Very good sanitary quality whatever the grape variety, with special mention to Roussanne and Macabeu which were magnificent. In contrast, small production in Muscat.
With more than 35 ° in the afternoon, we could only harvest in the morning, in the cool. Interesting option to harvest the whites because you have to squeeze and then cool the musts. The days are long to wait for the liberation of the cold group, late at night ... The first reds came back on August 29, there also the date challenges because we had never harvested red in August. And yet the Syrah that we harvested already grazed the 14 °, in a remarkable state. Then followed the old Carignan, generous this year, we will exceed 35hL / ha despite the drought. Beautiful quality and a nice balance with a welcome hint of acidity. This sacred Carignan is really adapted to warm climates. Then it was the turn of the Grenache Noir, especially from the area of Génégals, behind the cliffs, 300 m above sea level, those who could escape the voracious appetite of wild boars. Again, very good quality, but a little disappointment on the charge. The bunches were beautiful but not very compact, airy. How many secateurs to fill a bucket. Fortunately the Mourvèdre, always generous, but 14.5 ° all the same, allowed to conclude these long grape harvests in beauty.
- Alain Razungles