October 18th, 2012
The grapes that survived the winter and spring frost, mildew and coulure are in the tanks, and our 2012 harvest is over!
We started with the Sauvignons on September 25th, and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the juice: rich in sugar (superior to 13%) and good acidity. However, volume was extremely low; at 15hl/ha, we only brought in about 30% of a normal harvest.
Chardonnay will be almost ascent in the blend this year, with yields inferior to 5 hl/h. The last times we had yields this low was in 1991.
Starting October 1st, we started on the reds: 3 days with 20 harvesters covered our 8 hectares. We got in 27 hl/h yields of Pinot and a little more Gamay (which is fermenting whole cluster). For both reds, we have very good color and a lot of fruit so I'm expecting something of great quality.
At this point, we decided to break because the Romorantins weren't ready: sugar levels were good but the acidities were too high. But the weather chose not to be favorable for optimal maturity, so we called the team back on October 11th for a parcel of young vines. Then, on the 15th, we harvested our other parcels which include our very old vines. In the end, we managed to harvest 10hl/h, but it would have been worst if we'd waited longer. There will be no cuvée Renaissance 2012, as I prefer making a single, dry cuvée.
The one positive thing across the board was absence of botrytis.
Here are some photos, including a vine of GOUAIS Blanc (the only one we have!) , which is apparently the ancestor of Romorantin. This is a very delicate grape, and yet this year it was in excellent condition!