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Loire Valley vintage impacted by ‘complex weather’

Published:  16 November, 2023

Variable weather in the Loire Valley, which frequently fluctuated between soaking wet and scorching hot, has led to varied yields across the appellation.

Despite this, InterLoire, the official body for Loire Valley wines, insist the 2023 vintage will offer wines typical of the region – a balance between sweet and acidic, with fruity notes and moderate alcohol content.

This year’s Cabernet Franc, for example, is said to have bloomed into a vintage, "full of roundness and silky tannins", even though it was a variety affected more than most by the adverse weather conditions, resulting in a lower yield.

As for the white wines, in the Muscadet region, the scorching heat led some estates to harvest at night to avoid excessively high temperatures which could have triggered premature fermentation. However, the sunshine is said to have given the Melon de Bourgogne grapes its distinctive freshness, commonly associated with the Loire.

Meanwhile, sparkling wines made using the ‘méthode traditionnelle’ like Crémant de Loire, continue to be a firm favourite during the festive period in the UK, and this year’s first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes will be used in future productions, offering a "balanced and fruity" aromatic profile with freshness for 2023’s vintage.

Reflecting on the challenges of the harvest, Lionel Gosseaume, chairman of InterLoire said: “Despite it proving to be a particularly stressful season for winegrowers, the vintage is showing promise in terms of quality for most of the regions. 

“Bearing in mind the disparate weather conditions, the agility and technical prowess demonstrated by the winegrowers during harvesting were particularly vital this year. The care taken in the wine-making process is now a determining factor in ensuring a high-quality vintage to meet our consumers’ new expectations.”