Chablis 2016 vintage expected to be 50% down on average

Chablis 2016 vintage expected to be 50% down on average

As the full picture from the 2016 harvest becomes clearer, Chablis, the key white wine producing area of Burgundy has announced its harvest is going to be down by 50%.

But what is being picked will make good quality wines, according to the BIVB Chablis.

The harvest is so down after a near calamitious 2016 vintage which has seen a number of major weather issues, including major frosts in the spring, followed by two hail storms in May.

A damp period allowed mildew and other diseases to take the crop down futher, but some parts have been helped by a strong, warm August which means some producers will be able to produce good quality wines.

It has meant that growers and producers are having to be far more collaborative than they normally are, said Louis Moreau, vice-president of BIVB Chablis.

He said: “This year has been a trying time for the producers and vignerons in Chablis. But we will not let this bring us down. It’s not the first time this has happened in the region, and we are a hardy and positive thinking group of people.

“If anything the appalling weather conditions have brought our community together even more. Neighbours have been working side by side helping each other during the harvest; and we have even been sharing our picking teams, as many of the vines have required hand picking in several passes to ensure that we harvest the grapes at optimum ripeness.”

Drinks Business looks back over the years and finds that in May 1945 a severe frost hit damaged every vineyard in the region. In 1951 just 32 hectolitres of Chablis grand cru were produced after a terrible year and just one hectolitre of grand cru was declared in 1957.

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