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Harvest hailstorms fail to marr first-rate Chablis vintage

Published:  02 November, 2015

Winemakers are reporting an excellent Chablis vintage this year, despite potential turmoil caused by hailstorms as the harvest began.

The hailstorm struck on September 1, with the grapes already ripe after a mild, wet spring was followed by an exceptionally hot summer.

The hail passed cut through the Chablis region from Irancy up to the Colline des Grands Crus.

More than 300 of the 5,400 hectares of Chablis vineyards region were affected, with the Climats of Les Clos, Blanchot and Montée de Tonnerre being most troubled.

A few estates saw significant damage to their fruit, but losses were limited overall.

Jacques Lesimple, an oenologist in Chablis, said: "Some feared a lack of acidity but that's not the case - very few wines lack vivacity.

"This 2015 vintage is a sunny one, which stands out for its fruitiness. It will give rise to wines which are very accessible for consumers. For me, it can be classified as a very good vintage."

The reports from Chablis follow similar news from harvests across the northern hemisphere. From California to Alsace, winemakers have predicted 2015 to be a vintage to remember.