Harvest underway early in France
The 2011 harvest is underway in the third week of August in Bordeaux with Chateau d'Yquem in Sauternes and renowned rosé producer Chateau de Sours the first to pick grapes. As predicted its unusually early, about 2-3 weeks ahead of normal harvest time which happens in the second or third week of September.
Chateau d'Yquem is picking Sauvignon Blanc for its dry white 'Y' wine not to be confused with the late harvest dessert wines its famous for. The grapes for these wines will of course be left on the vine much longer.
Meanwhile in Champagne some producers in the departments of L'Aube and La Marne were allowed to start picking Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier on 19 August and Chardonnay on 20 August. Around 90% of the vineyards will have started to harvest by 25 August. The only other harvest to have begun so early was 189 years ago in 1822.