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Centre-Loire a ‘typical winegrower’s vintage’

Published:  27 November, 2023

Following a fruitful vintage the year before, 2023 was hard work for winegrowers in Centre-Loire, according to the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre (BIVC).

“2023 is a typical winegrower’s vintage,” said François Dal from Sicavac, the technical arm of the BIVC, the association which oversees the communication and promotion of Centre-Loire and its eight vineyards.

“Those who did a thorough job in the vineyard got their just rewards with high yields, optimal maturity and perfectly balanced juices,” Dal added.

The winter was very cold and wet but temperatures started to rise in February, earlier than usual. However, the spring was dry, putting stress on the water table. 

Budburst took place in mid-April, and temperatures rose again at the end of the month before the wet weather returned. This encouraged vine growth but created the perfect conditions for fungal diseases, which winegrowers had to deal with promptly and efficiently. 

On a more positive note, late spring was almost frost-free compared to previous years. 

A successful flowering followed, promising high yields. However, hot and humid weather with the accompanying risk of mildew returned at the end of June, putting winegrowers to the test yet again. The summer was less than optimal but a sudden burst of hot weather towards the end of the growing season gave a welcome boost to the maturity of the grapes just before the harvest. 

The harvest started on 7 September in Reuilly. Grapes were healthy with slightly lower sugar contents in white grapes than in previous years. Yields are high and the juices are said to be very clean and pure with impressive balance and finesse. The red grapes reached phenolic maturity later than the whites, rewarding those growers who waited a bit longer to start picking.