Overall it has been a very good year in France. We have seen many happy faces in the vineyards. But nothing is perfect and some regions have had problems.
Burgundy: Very high quality. Early flowering, very hot and dry summer and the rain that came in August were much needed. No diseases and the producers could harvest grapes with excellent maturity. The quantity is slightly less than hoped for because of the dry summer.
In northern Burgundy, in Chablis, Irancy and Saint-Bris, however, a hailstorm caused problems on 1st of September. There was major damage in some vineyards but still quite limited, luckily. Because the grapes were ripe, they could be harvested directly after the hail, so that no rot had time to evolve.
Champagne: Also here the growing season has been more of less perfect with dry and warm weather and a bit of the September rain that saved the vines from excessive water stress. The harvest began in early September and the producers are satisfied, very satisfied. We can probably look forward to a fine vintage Champagne 2015.
Bordeaux: Nice, warm and dry also in Bordeaux. The grapes matured slowly, the veraison (when the grapes change colour) was early and homogenous. The white grapes were harvested from early September and the black grapes from around the third week of September. Excellent overall quality of both white and red wines.
Languedoc has had a very satisfactory harvest in terms of both quality and quantity. But the weather gods created some problems in the department of Hérault in the evening on September 12 when a powerful storm hit the area with more than 334 mm of rain in three hours. Vineyards in Saint-Pargoire, Montagnac, Brignac, Florensac and Agde were totally flooded.