Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

Although many a grower across Europe has been celebrating the astonishing sugar levels and lack of rot in the grapes in their vineyards, this year's heat wave has also brought its problems. Hardest hit are premium wine areas and those in the traditionally cooler regions such as Champagne and Alsace. Jean Meyer of Domaine Josmeyer in Alsace stated that prospects for the vintage remained uncertain. Riesling has very serious problems, and unless we get some limited rain in the coming weeks, it will become a catastrophe for this variety. The vines have stopped working; maturity of the grapes has stopped at around 8% alcohol.' In Champagne, the heat has compounded some of the problems caused by this year's devastating April frosts, and yields could be even lower than predicted in the spring. Everywhere, the levels of acidity are low as a result of the heat wave,' said Laurent Gillet, president of Champagne Jacquart. This could lead to oxidation without careful handling, and this possibility is confirmed by the comments of the growers who speak of grapes having a cooked and overripe taste.' Other producers, across Europe, have expressed concern that phenolic ripeness has not kept pace with sugar development.