Bordeaux 2022: The Harvest

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that the 2022 harvest was one of the earliest on record, with historically early picking of both white and red varieties.

This is hardly surprising after such a season; the number of days between April and September with temperatures over 30ºC was 44, the rainfall over the same period 275 mm, very similar to the same figures for 1947 (42 days, 259 mm) and 1949 (43 days, 286 mm), both widely acknowledged as two of the greatest vintages of the 20th century.

The harvest was conducted under perfect conditions, the weather warm and dry. This meant everybody could take their time to pick each parcel, part-parcel, row or even part-row. The harvest for the whites kicked off in mid-August, the reds early-to-mid-September, depending on the château, location and style of wine.

The Dry Whites

The first whites were picked on August 9th. Yes that is correct, and is not a typo. August 9th. Midway through my primeurs tastings I jokingly asked one technical director “when did you start picking, in July?” which at the time seemed ridiculously far-fetched but on reflection some estates were only nine days away from doing just that. The first grapes to be picked were the Sauvignons, for making dry wines, in the Sauternes region.

Bordeaux 2022

There is not really that much else to say about the process of harvesting the whites. The work was conducted under clear and sunny skies, and proceeded without a hitch.

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