Europe set for earliest grape harvest in 200 years

on 05/08/11 at 8:44 am

Wine

Harvests in many of Europe’s main wine regions are set to start at one of the earliest times in nearly 200 years.

A warm, dry spring and summer have contributed to an incredibly advanced growing season, a full three weeks in advance of what it would normally be in some areas.

This spring was reportedly the hottest since the start of the 20th century and was a full 1.8 degrees centigrade hotter than the famously warm 2003 vintage.

The water deficit between March and May was 55%, the highest deficit since 1976, which was 46%.

However, according to English-language French newspaper, The Connexion, new figures from Météo France reveal that July was the coldest for 30 years, so, as so often, the situation could yet change drastically.

Nonetheless, so far the Loire, Champagne and the Douro are all predicting harvests in the middle of August. For Champagne, provisionally looking at a 20 August start, this would mark the earliest harvest in 189 years.

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