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What's in store for the 2022 harvest?

This year's vintage has faced some extreme weather conditions... but there's a silver lining

Drone image of hand harvesting at TR Wines, our Furmint producer in Tokaji (Hungary)

by Fleur @ The BIB Wine Company

As we move seamlessly from the harvest festival period to conker season in my (primary school-age) household, we decided to take a look at our wine producers across Europe who are in various stages of this year's grape harvest.

It will come as no surprise that for most of our producers it's been quite a year. The challenges of climate change have been evident, with drought and record-breaking heatwaves. There's also been the added threat of wildfires for our producers in southwestern France earlier in the summer.

Fortunately our winemakers are a skilled lot in dealing with what Mother Nature throws at them, and the news coming in about this year's grapes so far has been very positive. At Quinta da Pedra Alta in the Douro for example, strikingly low rainfall this year has meant a reduced crop, but the silver lining is that quality is exceptionally high.

Our delightful Chiroubles Beaujolais Cru producer, whose harvest has already finished, commented that "the quality of the grapes is magnificent which will allow us to make very good wine for this vintage".   We'll drink to that!

Harvest image from Chiroubles winemaker Julien Chantreau, who is also the local village fireman!

Julien's vineyards are certified by Terra Vitis, meaning that he follows a series of eco-friendly farming techniques with the aim of avoiding any negative impact on the environment. Ensuring full respect is given to the land, it's water resources and biodiversity is central to his winemaking philosophy.

Over in the Tokaji region of Hungary, our Furmint producer is in the middle of the harvest. Their organically grown grapes are hand-picked across several weeks to ensure careful selection and perfect ripeness. And she is pleased to report that for 2022, it is "so far so good".

The lovely Anikó from TR Wines, our Furmint producer in Tokaji, Hungary

The harvest for Anikó is the culmination of months of vineyard work committed to organic growing. This includes manual weed control in the spring, as well as the hand placing of mating disruption devices to block the reproductive cycle of malicious insects. Across the summer they then apply orange oil to fortify the leaves and the vines' immune system.

This is the exceptional attention to detail that goes into the production of our mouth-watering Furmint.

Justin Howard-Sneyd inspecting the crop at Domaine of the Bee, in the Languedoc Roussillon

Finally, down in the Roussillon, we've had a report from Justin of Domaine of the Bee, that he's only just started harvesting his ancient, gnarly vines. This will last well into October, and he's currently fending off the wild boar, who are always on the look-out for juicy Grenache and Carignan grapes.

We wish all our producers across France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungry, Portugal and England the best of luck and look forward to sampling the new vintage wines soon!

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