The grape harvest in Roussillon is well underway, with differences depending on the terroir. Grapes destined for white, rosé and Syrah (Shiraz) wines are now in cellar, while Grenache and Mourvèdre – planted in high-altitude soil – but also Muscats d’Alexandrie and Vins Doux Naturels are still to be put in cellar.
A HISTORICALLY EARLY YEAR
This year, Roussillon’s harvest has ended in the same way it began: in early fashion! Grapes were harvested from the first week of August, approximately 14 days earlier than in 2016. Why? The reason lies in this year’s higher temperatures causing premature vegetative cycles.
A PROMISING VINTAGE
Despite higher temperatures, winter rain recharged the soil with a sufficient quantity to ensure favorable hydration conditions at the right time of the grape’s development. While it is still too early to speak on quantity, the quality of the harvest seems to be in line with our two previous prolific vintages. Regarding reds, the tasting of the musts has given us a glimpse of elegant and complex wines, which will balance a good acidulous base. For their part, our whites and rosés reveal a very interesting and delicate aroma where hints of flowers and fresh fruit dominate.
The high sanitary condition of the vineyard, maintained by the tramontana, which has been blowing since early September, has allowed us to soften somewhat the pace of the harvest, permitting our winegrowers in the highlands to wait for the grape’s full phenolic maturity – especially important for large vintages of red. The harvest is expected to be completed at the end of the month in Maury and Haute-Vallee de l’Agly as well as in the terroirs devoted to the production of our Vins Doux Naturels. Early IGP is expected in mid-October, Muscat de Noël (Christmas Muscat) for November, the first white and rosé in late December and early January, and reds will follow.
ROUSSILLON, THE MOST SOUTHERN OF FRENCH VINEYARDS
Laid out like an amphitheater, between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, Roussillon’s historical vineyard extends over 21400 hectares of grape vines classified into 14 AOPs and 3 IGPs. 380 domains, 25 cooperative cellars and 30 negociants produce around 100 million bottles per year: three-quarter of which in dry red, rosé and white wines, and one-quarter in Vins Doux Naturels.
For more information:
INTERPROFESSIONAL COUNCIL OF ROUSSILLON WINES (CIVR)
+33 (0) 4 68 51 21 22 – firstname.lastname@example.org