Harvest: the producers fear a poor harvest

After the 2011 harvest took place at the end of August, which had never been seen before at least as long as a viticulturist from Charentes can remember, this year’s harvest might wait until beginning of October to give its grapes.

If the Bureau national interprofessionel du Cognac (Bnic) and the viticulturists general Union for the controlled Cognac appellation of origin (UGVC), the unique trade union in the profession, are not putting forward any scenario at the moment, FranceAgriMer, the national establishment for agricultural and sea products, said in a Newsletter that “the harvest, taking place later than the one in 2011, is usually expected mid-September, but can go on until October, like in the Cognac region”.

In the field, the people involved are confirming this statement. “The vine is green at the moment. Le cold winter and the rainy spring have slowed down the crop development. We need to wait and see how the end of July will be like and even august. We should obviously be getting some sunshine”, according to Christophe Forget, the UGCV president, who, like his colleagues, is worrying about another “problem” that is currently affecting the vine: the mildew. “The mould is virulent this year and it will have an affect both on the volume of the crops and on its degree. The vine sugar factory is the leave, but when it is attacked, the consequences are major”. A less abundant and late harvest, the mildew, the flavescence dorée: there are yet some clouds on a thriving economy that needs volumes. However, this year, it is unlikely that most of the viticulturists reach the yield they are entitled to, which amounts to 10.83 pure hectolitres per 2.5 acres.