The 2019 vintage – Returning to the roots
On September 21st, the harvest just ended at Château de La Chaize. Let us tell you more about this typically Beaujolais vintage!
2019 began with a cold winter that lasted until 14 February at which time the weather warmed up considerably and stayed that way until budburst in mid-March. Warm temperatures set in progressively, between 3 and 22 April, with highs of 25°C (77°F).
Spring frosts came as a surprise at the end of the month and fortunately did not present any serious threat for La Chaize.
The first half of May was cool and rainy, which slowed down the growth cycle.
Nevertheless, record temperatures ranging from 30 (86) to 32°C (89,6°F) on 1 and 2 June, speeded up flowering. The return of rain and cooler temperatures a week later allowed the soil to replenish its water reserves.
Summer temperatures were back on Monday 17 June and a heat wave began on Monday 24 June with temperatures ranging from between 35 and 40°C (104°F), which lasted until 1 July. These hot, dry conditions meant that there was an exceptionally low risk of fungal diseases.
Despite a considerable slowing down of veraison at the beginning of August due to very wet weather, the second half of the month was very favorable for the ripening of the grapes. We had to be vigilant, however, for any possible threats of botrytis.
Cooler autumn weather finally arrived on 3 September with nighttime and morning temperatures close to 10°C (50°F).
The harvest began on 9 September under an azure sky and full sunshine with ideal temperatures, the perfect conditions for a healthy crop.
Although we were expecting a rather solar vintage ending in -9, such as 1949, 1959, 1969, 1989 or 2009, 2019 was the 8th latest ripening vintage in the last 28 years, after 2013, 2016, 2008 and 2010, for example. It was also one of the lowest in yield due to small bunches of grapes and rigorous sorting. The grapes were harvested at their peak of phenolic maturity and boasted good sugar levels, balanced by the natural acidity that our region’s emblematic grape variety is known for. Potential for polyphenol extraction was lower, however, than for the two previous vintages. Our wines will therefore feature lighter, less intense color and a fresher organoleptic profile with more suppleness on the palate. In the wake of the rather solar vintages of 2017 and 2018, 2019 marks the return of a vintage that is typical of Beaujolais, showcasing all of the Gamay grape’s crisp freshness!