Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Autumn heat helps to secure a promising vintage for the Loire Valley

Published:  26 November, 2014

Following two tough years, the autumn heat is responsible for the success of this year's vintage for Loire Valley, according to Les Vins du Centre Loire, which released the region's vintage report this week.

The vintage report said that despite having bud break being 10 days early, due to the relatively cool weather throughout the summer, "2014 was characterised by a long growing season" and "the vine was delayed throughout the whole season".

"Except for the period from June 6 -13, and the second half of July, the year was relatively cold until the end of August," according to the report.

Some producers have reported smaller than average yields, but the with the long growing season the quality is expected to be good.

Without the late summer and autumn heat spell producers could have a suffered another tough harvest which had some producers on edge earlier in the year.

In Vouvray, where several producers are small family outfits that have been making wine for multiple generations, the bad weather can make life at the winery that much more challenging, particularly when there have been back-to-back vintages that have suffered.

Stefan Vigneau, a fifth generation winemaker from Domain Vigneau-Chevreau, said that in 2012 he lost 50% of his production to frost and in 2013 he lost 50% of his production to hail. Vigneau needed a good harvest this year, as his stocks are depleted. Vigneau has been farming biodynamically and organically for 18 years.

Vigneau was not the only producer who needed a good harvest, Luc Delhumeau from Domaine de Brizé in the village of Martigne-Briand near Saumur said: "We need the stock. Over the last two harvests, I am basically missing an entire year's worth of volume."

Delhumeau, who runs the business with his sister, is a fifth generation winemaker on his family's land.

Mathius Chini-Germain, from Interloire, said: "This moment is very precious for our some of our producers. They need support.They are living and dying by their vines. The last two years have been tough."

See a full report on the Loire Valley in the December issue of Harpers.