Early Harvest in France

“We can now confirm the harvest will take place in early September,” Jean-Frederic Hugel.

France – and the rest of Europe – is expecting an early harvest for the 2020 vintage.

Alsace, in the north-east of the country, is no exception.

“The region was struck hard by one of the first COVID clusters in France. Now taking a closer look, we can already describe 2020 as a miraculous year. When COVID was already closing businesses, schools and shops, we were behind with our vine work,” informed Jean-Frederic Hugel, a member of the 13th generation of the winegrowing family that traces its roots to 1639.

Based in Riquewihr, Alsace, the Hugel Family has been growing grapes since 1639.

“We managed to turn the situation around completely thanks to an impressive collective effort, even our office workers joined the vineyard teams. The first impressions this month are extremely positive. Alsace has for once been spared by the heatwave that has melted the rest of the country. The nights stayed cool and the veraison has gone well thus far.

“While the excessively dry weather has not been kind to our rivers, the vines, unscathed from disease, have fared very well. Save for any unexpected climatic episode, the vintage promises to be healthy and generous. So generous, in fact, that we’ve had to bend our own rules with regard to letting nature takes its course.

“While the excessively dry weather has not been kind to our rivers, the vines  have fared very well.”

“For the first time in 20 years, we have practised green harvesting, sacrificing a large proportion of our grapes in the most prestigious terroirs. Weather permitting, the more humble terroirs will also undergo this sacrificial rite. The vintage, however, will be early. Although we kind of knew – and feared – the harvest would come early since bud break, we can now confirm the harvest will take place in early September.”

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