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Provence harvest off to a ‘promising’ start

Published:  12 September, 2019

Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP) has announced a “promising start” to the harvest season across Côtes de Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence and Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence.

The industry body said good climactic conditions throughout the year “have kept the vineyard healthy” with early indications from the harvest suggesting a “good balance between phenolic maturity and alcohol, and particularly a good level of acidity”.

“The vineyards are in excellent health which has allowed for a calm start to the harvest. The quality of the grapes and the balance suggest that 2019 will be a high quality vintage. Of course, we remain attentive to the weather conditions as the harvest is obviously very dependent on this,” said Jean- Jacques Breban, president, CIVP.

In terms of volume, it was at this stage difficult to establish, he said, with production expected to be higher in some areas and lower in others when compared to last year.

Owing to this and to the two smaller harvests in previous years which restricted the markets, the CIVP agreed to an increase in the annual yield (Côtes de Provence: 58hl/ha+ 3hl/ha in VCIi, Coteaux Varois en Provence et Coteaux d’Aix- en-Provence: 60hl/ha) in order to reach a normal, high-quality yield – a move the CIVP said would allow the region’s producers to better meet demand in 2020.

In line with last year, the harvest started a couple of weeks ago with the first cuts of the secateurs having been made in the most well-developed areas, while the harvest will start towards the middle of September in the areas where grapes have ripened later.

Gilles Mason, director of the Centre du Rosé, said: “The vineyards are in perfect health. The grapes are reaching maturity little by little which has enabled certain estates to kick off their harvest. The vintage is promising with proportionate sugar levels and a good acidity. “

Comprising three appellations spanning close to 200km between the Mediterranean and the Apls, CIVP brings together some 486 private wine producers, 63 cooperative producers as well as 90 wine traders.