A Quick update from Chateau Brown in Pessac-Leognan on how the 2015 vintage is shaping up.

A Quick update from Chateau Brown in Pessac-Leognan on how the 2015 vintage is shaping up.


Early harvesting at Château Brown

The first harvests in Pessac-Léognan got underway as early as the end of August: after Château Carbonnieux and Château Haut-Brion, it is now the turn of Château Brown, which will be kicking off its grape-picking campaign on 1st September. Precision work in prospect… 

The Sauvignon Blanc grapes will be the first to be picked at Château Brown, immediately followed by the Semillons. These two varieties cover all five hectares of white grapes on the 29-hectare estate.

Certain Merlots set aside for the Château’s rosé wine will also be picked this week.

The remainder of the red grapes will not be picked before 20 September (compared with 7 October in 2014).

The health of the crop is good overall and perfect among the reds. Jean-Christophe Mau, the owner of Château Brown, and his team are nonetheless wary of the rot potentially lying in wait for the Semillons, which have therefore undergone painstaking leaf-stripping operations in order to provide the grapes with optimal aeration.

The damp month of August (more than 100 mm of rainfall) and the recent storms diluted the fruit somewhat, but fortunately the return of the sunshine in recent days has restored the concentration of the grapes.

Ever willing to share their passion and their expertise, the team at Château Brown will be welcoming several primary and secondary school classes during the harvesting, in order to pass on the latest advances in rational vine management to the future generation. A busy schedule ahead for both the estate and the schoolkids!

In Burgundy, Albert Bichot report that there was a scare overnight on August 31st as hail swept across Chablis.  However it sounds as if the Grands Crus and the right bank were not hit, and that damage to the Premiers Crus on the left bank is limited.

Throughout Burgundy, the heat of recent days has accelerated grape maturity and harvesting dates have been brought forward.  At Domaine de Rochegres in Moulin-a-Vent, harvesting has just finished.  Picking of the whites on the Cote de Beaune will start this Thursday. And picking of Grand Cru Chablis and the warmer red sites on the Cote de Nuits will start over the coming weekend.

Bichot report that it is almost unprecedented for the different regions of Burgundy to experience this sort of shotgun start, with so many areas ready to pick at the same time.  They also point out that thorough selection is likely to be needed as the rain that has accompanied the warmth on occasion will have resulted in some rot damage.


All thanks to Chateau Brown for this harvest season update, you can check out their website here

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