We are approaching our eighteenth harvest at Sainte Rose, which will be starting slightly later than usual due to the hot, dry conditions we have experienced in the Languedoc this year. Our average rainfall each year is 660mm, however we have only received 80mm to date (compared with 1000mm in 2018), and this combined with record breaking temperatures, that have hit the headlines around Europe, has meant a slow maturation and will result in lower yields. The extreme temperatures have thankfully not negatively impacted our crop as the highest temperatures of 45-50 degrees Celsius only really lasted for one day, before returning to normal summertime temperatures of between 30-40 degrees C.
Given the high temperatures and lack of rainfall, we have been using our drip irrigation this year, which we only use in exceptionally dry years and that ensures our vines do not shut down in the hot, dry conditions. For many growers without irrigation, their vines will suffer severely from hydric stress and they will struggle to get their fruit fully ripe.
Veraison has begun in all red and white varieties, with the early ripening Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir leading the way. We are likely to start picking Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling base wines in the next week, followed by the first whites for still wine production a few days later.
Please follow our progress on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we countdown to the start of the 2019 harvest. We will be posting regular images and updates of this exciting and important period over the course of the next few weeks.