|Beaujolais predicts low yields to match 2003 levels|
|Written by Laura Heywood|
|Thursday, 13 September 2012 12:10|
Beaujolais is predicting a lower than average harvest for the 2012 vintage after repeated hail storms.
Approximately 50,000 pickers begun harvesting the first Gamay grapes of the 2012 vintage in the 12 appellations of the Beaujolais region this week.
Although 2012 began very cold in January and February, due to the warm weather in March budburst took place slightly earlier than usual on March 29.
"A cold and rainy April followed and the resulting flowering occurred a little later than in previous years on June 5," a spokesman from Inter Beaujolais said. "Véraison then also took place a little later on August 5 however it developed well and quickly due to the prolonged sunny weather and high temperatures during the second half of the month."
Sunny weather and warm temperatures experienced throughout the beginning of September have also helped keep the vines healthy and in good condition.
The yields are estimated to be as low as they were in 2003, however winemakers in the region are confident about the quality of the 2012 vintage. "Although the 2012 harvest is expected to be low, the berries have been small and concentrated so the grape quality should be high," Inter Beaujolais added.
Earlier this week Georges Duboeuf, from Georges Duboeuf Wines, told the trade at a celebration of its 40 year partnership with Berkmann Wine Cellars that "2012 is going to be a great wine but the quantity will be small".
Repeated hail storms have been cited in the French press as a reason for the lower than average harvest.