Vineyard News

Alsace 2020 vintage – excellent ripeness – it’s a 6!

David Ling, our Vintage Card Consultant for Alsace, reports - ‘In Alsace, 2020 was a typical "hot vintage", with all that that entails, and a bit smaller than average. Flowering started early (late May/early June) and went well. Summer and autumn were very hot and dry, causing some hydraulic stress in exposed vineyards. These needed careful selection at harvest time to remove suspect or dried-out bunches. Overall ripeness levels were excellent. Picking began exceptionally early, on 31st August, in very hot conditions, so growers who opted to pick very early in the morning and take an afternoon siesta were rewarded, especially as quite cool evenings kept the fruit in good condition and preserved useful levels of acidity, giving well-structured, aromatic wines with fine balance and a long finish. In particular, 2020 was a brilliant year for Pinot Noir.’ 

David is pictured here, along with his fellow Rotary Club members, after spending 5 sunny hours picking grapes for free. They had been invited by the local wine estate Maison Joseph Cattin, owned by local MP Jacques Cattin, who donated a cheque equivalent to their "wages" (1500€) which they used to buy medically-approved presents for children in hospital. They picked just over 5 tons of Pinot Noir which should produce about 5,000 bottles of wine...  As you can see masks were compulsory to avoid mischief-makers criticising an MP for not following the rules. David’s ‘Ned Kelly’ features are second right from the guy holding the bunch of grapes, with the MP between them! Strange but true, the only two pickers pictured, wearing black masks, are the local undertakers... Congratulations to David and his team.