A WORD FROM THE CEO.... It all began with a piece of collaborative research undertaken by Dourthe and
Gigondas, 28 September 2017
The harvest is ending in Gigondas, the vintage 2017 delivers beautiful grapes, with a beautiful ripeness, small fleshy berries, in perfect health condition, and with excellent potential. But this crop is also characterised by low yield.
The very mild early spring brought early and rapid bud-burst, followed by a sharp drop in temperatures at the end of April, which caused frosts in the southern Rhône Valley, particularly in the Ventoux and Lubéron appellations. The 2017 vintage was particularly dry and hot too. Rainfall from December to June was poor, with unusually low rainfall in winter. Then, spring came with early heat. This was followed by a very dry summer, with a particularly scorching heat wave at the end of July/early August.
In Romane, the particularities of our terroirs have helped to offset these significant weather events. Indeed, the altitude has preserved us from early bud-burst and thus from spring frost. This difference with the rest of the appellation was maintained throughout the vegetative period, particularly during flowering. Thus, we were less affected by the spring heat, which led to the strong flower abortion on Grenache grapes in the plains.
The clays of our Gigondas plots played their role as reservoirs by retaining water longer in the soil, and thus limited the appearance of too much water stress. In addition, a beneficial rainstorm (30 mm in Gigondas) felt at the end of August, which prevented the maturities from being stuck and allowed the ripening to finish quietly.
From vegetative growth to berry maturation, the health conditions remained excellent. We were therefore able to start harvesting the first white grapes of Gigondas on September 9th, about a week ahead of 2016. Nevertheless, the “vintage effect” is noteworthy because the juice yields of the first presses were low.
Grenache and Cinsault from Romane, destined for the Gigondas rosé, were harvested after the whites. The secateurs work now on the red Gigondas, with the Syrah and Cinsault grapes harvested from September 12th to 15th, then the Grenache grapes for our Romane-Machotte cuvée the following week. Finally, we finish with the Grenache for our Pas de l’Aigle and Domaine Grand Romane cuvées, and our beautiful Mourvèdre! With the first musts, we can already see that 2017 will be a warm vintage, with less acidity than 2016, but with very promising beautiful fruits.