Gastronomy

The wine harvest season starts early this year

With a warm spring and a hot summer, the grapes burst with sweetness and need to be harvested earlier than usual.

31-vendangesThe first wine harvests in the Moselle started at the end of August, in Schengen, on the Henri Ruppert estate. The rush has nothing to do with impatience - if the grapes are not harvested, they will be too sweet to make quality wine.

Plenty of sunshine

Spring and summer were so sunny this year that the grapes grew faster. The sugar content of the wort on the Oechsle scale is high enough to start the harvest. In particular, we are told that the Pinot Noir grape variety ripened very well during the summer. Winemakers do not seem to be worried about the quality of this year's new wine, especially when it comes to Rivaner. To produce certain wines, such as sparkling wine, the grapes need to strike a good balance between sweetness and crispness. Hence the wine harvest that some may think is premature, at first sight.

Three weeks early

Along the Wine Trail ("Route du Vin"), there are around 300 wine estates between Wasserbillig and Schengen, watching the grapes very closely. The harvest will start the first week of September. The harvest season will kick off three weeks earlier than usual.  It's the second time that the wine harvest has started so early in Luxembourg. The first time it happened was in August 2003, a year with a record-breaking summer.

Seasonal work valued by winemakers

It is normal practice that during the wine harvest in the Moselle region, seasonal workers flock from all over Europe to engage in work that is admittedly difficult, yet filled with a spirit of fellowship. Workers from neighbouring countries are particularly appreciated, not necessarily because they work better, but because they are more flexible. In fact, winemakers can cancel harvesting more easily if the weather is too harsh.

(Article produced by the editorial team of the portal at 'www.luxembourg.lu'.)

  • Updated 05-09-2018