Grape harvests have been rolling across Europe for several months now and sample sizes are large enough to make some predictions. Abnormal weather has hampered the output for a few years, but the grapes are looking good in 2018 and experts are predicting that Burgundy’s Chablis will lead the way with a historic vintage.
Louis Moreau, president of the Chablis Commission of the Bourgogne Board, told The Drinks Business that hot weather over the summer contributed to a Chablis harvest that was “the best in 20 years.”
“Chablis is rejoicing!” he said. “We were uncertain after the drought this summer, but the vineyard gave us a real gift after two difficult years. Overall the vintage is qualitative and we have the quantity.”
The sentiment was seconded by Julien Brocard of Jean-Marc Brocard winery. He told Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy that “the taste of the unfermented grape juice is immensely pure.”
The news provides a respite for the farmers of Burgundy who wrestled with two terrible years in 2017 and 2016. Notably, in 2017, severe frosts, hailstorms, and heat waves combined to produce the smallest harvest since World War II. Many producers opted to produce no vintage at all.
In 2018, the region enjoyed temperatures far higher than average which forced early harvests. However, the resulting grapes were phenomenal.