Early 2019 Vintage Insight from Bordeaux

As we move into September and the final few weeks prior to harvest, winemakers from around Europe are starting to get a good understanding of how the vintage is looking. We spoke to a number of top producers in Bordeaux to get an early insight into what we might expect from the 2019 vintage.

We are pleased to report there have been some very positive vibes coming from Bordeaux. Aurelien Valance from Chateau Margaux says “the summer has been fantastic so we are very excited and optimistic for the vintage. We just cross our fingers that this fabulous weather will continue until mid-October.” They intend to start picking the white grapes next Monday and the earlier ripening red grapes in two weeks’ time.

Marie Helene from Chateau Brane Cantenacis equally positive, stating: “The vineyard is looking beautiful. Summer has been wonderful so far, with a little bit of rain beginning of August, which was great.  Forecasted weather for the next 10 days looks perfect.  We are planning to start around September 25. Bunches on the Plateau of Brane on the famous Terrace 4 look very homogenous.”

Further north on the Left Bank there are plenty of hopeful vignerons knowing that if the weather holds over the next few weeks, 2019 looks set to be another exciting vintage. For Emeline Borie at Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste,“The 2019 looks great at that stage, the production seems to be not very big because of the dryness. The berries are quite small and very concentrated. Depends on what will happen between now and the harvest, but it will be another rich and big vintage! Finger crossed!!”

August has been dry however which means the berries are small – lowering quantity. She goes on to state, “We started the maturity analysis last week. It is ripening but it is not ready yet! We don’t know yet when we will start, but probably around September 25th. The weather forecast is pretty good for the next days. Because we are always complaining, we would love to have something like 20-25 mm of water to stick the dust and give a little bit of breathing to the grapes, but it is not planned for the moment! We didn’t have any drops of rain until the 25 mm at beginning of August!!”

Nicolas Glumineau, director general of Chateau Pichon Longueville couldn’t be more excited about the prospects of 2019. Fortunately for them, they have been blessed with a bit of rain to help keep the ripening steady throughout the summer. He says, “so far, so very good!!! Dry wind from the north, cool nights and sunny days, which means that photosynthesis works a lot and the state of health of our vineyard is just perfect! We’ve had a bit of rain late July and mid-August that was very profitable to the vine, to enable photosynthesis. The forecast is good and the ripeness evolves with confidence”. 

On the right bank, we spoke with Edouard Vauthier from Chateau Ausone who is pleased to report that all their vineyards are in a healthy condition but the next few weeks are vital to the success of the vintage. He states, “At this stage, we plan to harvest the Merlot around the 3rd week of September. For the Cabernet, it will be a little late this year. The weather forecast for the next week is sunny and hot during the day and clear and fresh at night, this will help to gain in sweetness while keeping a good acidity. For the next following weeks, we hope to have the perfect weather to reach a good maturity in order to make 2019 a great vintage! We are very conscious of the fact that the weather could change by the end of the month of September, but we will try our best to produce a fantastic vintage. Still a long way to go!”

Fingers crossed for the next few weeks but so far…so very good in Bordeaux! We hope to report on further development around Europe in the next coming weeks.