At the Joseph Mellot House, as everywhere in the region, the harvest is in full swing: in the vineyards, pacing the vines in the hillsides, while the teams in the cellars receive the freshly picked beautiful grapes. Particularly early, the 2020 harvest is expected to be a high quality one, with a slightly lower quantity than in previous years.
Weather led to an earlier start of the vegetative cycle
After a particularly mild 2019-2020 winter and a dry spring, the vegetative cycle of the Centre-Loire vineyards started early: bud break, flowering and veraison were several weeks ahead of average. A steady start that was followed by a sunny, hot and dry summer.
The weather conditions of the last few months led the Joseph Mellot House to start the harvest three solid weeks in advance. As Catherine Corbeau-Mellot points out, “In 2020, the 100-day rule between the date of flowering and the date of the harvest is true once again.”
Previous vintages have also had early harvests, but they are not justified by the same phenomenon; in 2019, for example, the vegetative cycle started slowly, and then a rapid maturation.
Beginning the harvest in Reuilly
As is often the case, the first harvesting shear cuts were given in the Pinot Gris vines in AOC Reuilly where the official authorization for the harvest of this variety was given on August 21, then August 26 officially for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. At Domaine Jean-Michel Sorbe, Pinot Gris was harvested as of August 28. The harvest continues in Reuilly with Sauvignon Blanc, which again this year produces quality berries, characterized by a beautiful fruitiness and a beautiful balance.
In Sancerre, despite an officially published harvest authorization on August 27, the Joseph Mellot House has been harvesting its first Sauvignon Blanc grapes only as of September 2. Some parcels are traditionally harvested manually by a loyal team of seasonal workers. Since September 8, it has been the turn for Pinot Noir: the splendid berries, full of juice, are once again harvested by hand.
In the cellar, where the activity is intense, the dynamic team is always looking for innovation and new experiments to make the wines as qualitative as possible. For example, the Wine Glob, a 200-litre glass container, which should allow, among other things, to gain even more fruit and freshness, to help the clarification process and to reduce the use of SO2.
Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and all her teams, present in all 8 appellations of the Centre-Loire wine region, share the same feeling: the harvest is promising and should offer a beautiful 2020 vintage!