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Beaujolais reports small but promising 2019 vintage

Published:  15 October, 2019

Beaujolais has declared the 2019 vintage a small harvest – half the size of the previous year, due to “climate hazards”.

Spells of frost in the spring, drought, and several hailstorms had all caused disruption in the vineyard and as such, the 2019 vintage was currently displaying “substantial diversity”, from the north to the south, said Inter Beaujolais as the harvesting winds down in the 12 Beaujolais appellations.

The small harvest had lead to a yield 25% lower than the last five-year average, it added.

However, the first wines tasted in the cellars heralded a “promising vintage”.

“The wines are supple and round. The vintage is definitely moderate in quantity, but very noteworthy in quality. We’re in a run of good vintages,” said Bertrand Chatelet, director of SICAREX (Beaujolais Institute of Oenological and Viticulture Research).

The August rainfall had supplied the vines with water and consequently, grapes finished maturing in favourable conditions and were picked ripe, with pleasant natural acidity, according to Inter Beaujolais, which said the grapes were in good health, providing a nice sugar level, balanced out by precious acidity.

“With this vintage, which was neither early nor extremely late, the grapes are full of freshness – the freshness we’re so fond of finding in the Beaujolais Gamay grapes. Its aging potential will be attractive and the wines luminous,” said Inter Beaujolais president Dominique Piron.

Inter Beaujolais also revealed that in the first eight months of 2019, Beaujolais recorded the largest increase in exports in the UK for a French region, up 34.6% in volume and 19.6% in value.

“At a time when red wine drinking tends to be losing steam in favour of whites and rosés, Beaujolais wines are showing good potential for the coming years, worldwide. The 2019 harvest will be a strong asset in continuing to attract consumers," said Piron.

The Beaujolais vineyards stretch out over nearly 15,000ha of vine.