The Fédération des Vins de Nantes has set a date for the beginning of harvest, kicking off on Thursday September 5th.
The federation predict this will be another low-volume vintage, more like 2016 and 2017 than the bountiful 2018 vintage. Both of those first two vintages were afflicted by frost, and the problem in 2019 is again the same. It was the drop in temperature overnight between April 3rd and 4th that did the damage. This makes this the third frosted vintage out of four in this region.
The federation predict a reduction by perhaps 50%, estimating a harvesting of about 250,000 hectolitres, a depressing figure. Of course, as always with frost, the damage done is disparate and heterogenous; while the loss overall is 50%, some domaines will surely have lost a much higher figure, while there can be domaines just down the road who have fared better. It depends where your vines are, the local topography, and whether this exposes or protects your vines from frosty air.
What is set to be picked looks to be of good quality, the weather having been largely warm and dry this year, which explains the early start date. Sadly I think the picking in Muscadet will have finished before I even get out to the Loire this harvest. Fingers crossed for good harvest weather. And fingers crossed for less frost (or more frost protection) in the 2020 season.