Thibaud Hue, edited by Gauthier Delomez 06:14, August 17, 2022

The harvest started these days in some French farms thanks to a particularly dry and hot summer.

Precocity and warmth that should benefit the quality of the wine, according to professionals in the sector.

Europe 1 went to Ardèche to find out everything about the next vintage.

In the Rhône Valley, operators are already getting busy: the harvest started earlier than expected, after a particularly dry and hot summer.

Some will even beat by a few days the record for earliness of the year 2003, when the heat wave was historic.

This earliness and warmth also have a positive effect on the quality of the wine, particularly in the Ardèche.

Europe 1 went there.


- In Aude, due to climate change, the harvest is coming earlier and earlier

A result in the bottle which will be different compared to 2003

In the Delphine estate in Mauves, the land is dry and the grapes are small.

This is why the yields are likely to be lower, but the heat wave will improve the juice.

"I think the quality will be there. The grapes are pretty, the degree should be there too. The grains are already very sweet, so I think we will have a nice harvest", explains the winemaker on Europe 1.

Although this historically early harvest is very similar to that of 2003, the result in the bottle will be very different.

This is what Maxime, who takes care of the elaboration of the wines of the Chapoutier house near Valence, specifies.

"For ten years, viticulture has evolved. Winegrowers work their vines differently and work differently in the cellar", he explains.

"Very good wines, which deserve to be kept for a few years"

Maxime believes that "taking as a reference the solar years such as 2015, 2017, 2018 perhaps seems more reasonable. These are wiser, more balanced solar vintages. Wines that are certainly high in alcohol, powerful, but whose acidity allows to find a balance in red wines in particular", he explains, "these are very good wines, but wines which deserve to be kept for a few years all the same", concludes Maxime.

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For the vintage to live up to expectations and reach maturity, the vines still need water, he says.

Moreover, 30 to 40 mm of rain are expected at the end of the week in the Rhone Valley.