It’s a busy time of year here in Cathar Country as the annual harvest, or vendange, gets underway!
The vendange takes place usually between September and October for Languedoc Wine, and the timing is absolutely critical to ensure quality. Here’s a few harvest facts:
- When the harvest is wet (from rain, dew, fog etc), this extra quantity of water can negatively affect the quality of wine by dilution.
- The hottest hours of the day are not a good time to be out harvesting. For obvious reasons, here in the south of France… but a high temperature can also promote removal of unwanted fermentation after grapes are placed in containers.
- These containers must be of a limited size so that they are not crushed (which releases their juices and causes oxidisation as well as colour problems for the development of rosé or sparkling wines)
- The harvest must be transported as quickly as possible to the winery to avoid uncontrolled fermentation and maceration, juice oxidation and also action of other chemicals which can affect balance.
It’s certainly been an interesting year weather-wise. We’ve had a long, hot summer with little rain (in fact not a drop here since May!!), with some showers finally coming over the last few weeks. Fingers crossed for this being a special year! 🙂
Want to know more?
For more info on how wine is harvested and fashioned into its final form, here’s a helpful starter article on Wine Folly. Take a look!
How Wine is Made
An introduction to the wines of our region: