2018: An outstanding vintage in the making

Ideal weather, undeniably good quality fruit and volumes significantly up on the previous year created the winning combo and put a smile back on the faces of French wine growers during the 2018 harvest.

After a small crop in 2017, 2018 promises to be outstanding 

2017 was affected by severe weather and generally challenging climatic conditions producing low volumes but high quality wines.  This year, some wine regions started harvesting at the end of August, and hot weather combined with a lack of climatic accidents created ideal conditions for ripening. The vines did not suffer from drought and winegrowers were able to harvest healthy, concentrated grapes freighted with sugar thanks to the summer heat.


2018 Harvest: Cause for a celebration in Champagne where the crop could reach an all-time high   

The winter was wet and the summer was hot and dry - conditions that usher in a remarkable vintage, according to a press release issued on 7 September 2018. “Outstanding weather allowed vines to progress rapidly; flowering and maturation benefited from ideal conditions and by harvest time there were clusters aplenty and in perfect health, with abundant sugar and aromatics that were well above average”. As much in volume as in value, Champagne has announced all-time highs for the 2018 harvest, with yields 50% up on the previous year.

Roussillon: Winegrowers are beaming 

Press releases in September and October 2018 announced a perfectly healthy crop. For Philippe Bourrier, chairman of the CIVRwithout a doubt, 2018 already ranks alongside Roussillon’s top vintages”.

The Loire (Interloire and BIVC) is expecting a promising crop

Magnificent conditions for harvesting from the end of August to October allowed Loire winegrowers to pick grapes at peak ripeness with ease.
Spared by frost, after two, more challenging years, the Loire Valley returned to generous production levels and quality that will set 2018 among the top vintages.


Rhone Valley vineyards: Another great vintage!  

Fine weather during veraison and up to the harvest was particularly favourable for the grape pickers in the vineyards of the Rhone Valley.
September was a very beneficial month and pressure from disease and pests was generally contained, due to favourable weather conditions.
All these positive factors promise to deliver a very successful 2018 vintage, with volumes higher than the small 2017 crop. 


Burgundy : Another region where the 2018 harvest was a cause for rejoicing 

Harvesting came to a close at the end of September and left Burgundy rejoicing. The region is calling 2018 an “enchanting vintage”. “Very mild weather and perfectly healthy grapes allowed everyone to choose harvest dates promoting peak ripeness. The quality, coupled with great volumes, is a source of joy for winegrowers”, according to a press release dated 26 September 2018.


Beaujolais: An absolute classic vintage 

Weather conditions that were once again ideal in 2018 will allow this vintage to go down on record as exceptional, just like 2017, 2015 and 2009. Bertrand Chatelet, director of the Sicarex (the Beaujolais institute for vine and wine research) praises the first wines tasted. “They are sheer velvet. Lengthy macerations will enable the wines to extract colour and structure. They are round and silky, but also fat and concentrated. The tannins are fine and elegant”.


Provence: The grapes were in excellent health and although there are volume discrepancies, forecasts have been revised upwards. 

After a very rainy year, harvesting began at the end of August in exceptional weather conditions. September provided vineyards with a perfect combination of sunny afternoons and cool nights with temperatures falling to below 10° C. Consequently, the grapes were in excellent health, promoted by a welcome Mistral wind and lack of rainfall.


2018 Alsace grape harvest: Quality guaranteed! 

Exceptional weather conditions left an unusual stamp on the year and with a high quality crop, the 2018 vintage will go down in history. Producers are delighted and according to initial observations, it seems as though volumes harvested this year will replenish wineries...


PGI Pays d’Oc : The 2018 vintage promises to deliver wonderful aromatic intensity

Excellent weather conditions in the weeks leading up to the harvest allowed the grapes to be harvested at peak ripeness. The 2018 vintage thus holds the promise of top quality, balanced and fruity wines, irrespective of colour.
If it hadn’t been for mildew, 2018 would have been a bumper crop. Nevertheless, expected volumes are still significantly higher than in 2017 (+18%) and should approach the 7 million hectolitre mark for PGI Pays d'Oc varietal wines.


Extremely virulent outbreaks of mildew in regions along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts

In some areas, there was no let up for winegrowers and the situation proved even more complex for organic winegrowers. In Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon, damage is variable but yields are higher than expected. Corsica and the South-East are forecasting a downward revision in volume estimates. Surprisingly, in Corsica rain was the cause, and mildew in the Southeast.


With harvesting over, growers are now in the throes of winemaking 

In a few months' time, the first tastings will ultimately confirm whether French wines from the 2018 vintage will meet the expectations of consumers and winegrowers who so far are rejoicing. The beginning of 2019 is the time to confirm the excellence of the 2018 harvest. The Wine Paris exhibition in February 2019 offers the perfect opportunity to come and taste the first wines.


The Wine Paris joint steering committee

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