2021 Harvest

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The Harvests in the Loire Valley are now well advanced. The year 2021 has been a challenge for the winegrowers with all the climatic hazards (frost, hail, rain ...). Maturities in the vines were long to come and very heterogeneous, complicating the task of the winegrowers who are already struggling to find grape pickers. The ambient humidity was favourable to the development of botrytis, downy mildew and others which required close monitoring to ensure a good sanitary state of the bunches.

In the region of Nantes, nearly 80% of the harvest was lost during episodes of spring frost. For the main grape variety, Burgundy melon, a historically low yield is expected. The summer was rainy, allowing downy mildew to develop damaging the foliage and making it difficult for the grapes to ripen. But surprisingly, the health status is quite good as the few weeks at the end of August and beginning of September allowed the grapes to ripen. The harvest ban in Muscadet was lifted on September 15. Maturities are evolving thanks to more favourable and sunny weather since the beginning of September and, on healthy plots, the grapes still hanging should be balanced and allow vinification of a very low volume but of quality.

In Touraine, the cool, humid and little sunny summer did not allow a great advance in maturity. It will nevertheless have made it possible to promote the freshness of future wines. The increase was significant during the first 15 days of September thanks to rising temperatures.

In the Western sector (Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, Bourgueil and Chinon) the vagaries of the weather had a less significant impact on the yield and the quality of the harvest. But in some places, mildew have done as much damage, sometimes even more than frost. In addition, there are local areas touched by hail, so many climatic accidents that locally impact the quality and quantity of the upcoming harvest. In general, harvests will be average, even low, with great variability depending on the winegrowers and the locations. The harvest of the Cabernet Franc began towards the end of September, the beginning of October due to the weather.

In the Eastern sector of the department (Amboise, Vouvray and Montlouis-sur-Loire), the harvest has started for the base wines. The grapes for dry white wines (Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Chenin) harvested in mid-September should permit to obtain wines that are "lighter" in alcohol and with a very fresh profile, more typical of historic Loire wines. The harvest ban for Vouvray is set for September 23. The rosés, the bases of the crémants rosés, the still dry chenins and the cabernets in red have waited until beginning of October.

For the Saumurois, the Crémants were harvested from September 5-6, mainly Chardonnays and Pinots Noirs. The yield is rather low but with a good sanitary condition. Chenins started on September 10 with good health as well, while Grolleau and Cabernets are to come. Some plots present rots which could develop if the rain returns. The grapes for the red wines have not been harvested before beginning of October.

The characteristic of the year seems to be heterogeneity, so the vinification promises to be technical for this vintage in order to ensure the balance of the wines.

Even if many winegrowers are announcing reduced quantities, finally the health status is rather good, which is encouraging for the potential quality of the vintage.