September 2019

The 2019 vintage
A return to the roots

On September 21, the harvest finished at Château de La Chaize. Let us tell you about this typical Beaujolais vintage!


 - 2019 started out with a cold winter that lasted until February 14, when significantly milder temperatures set in and prevailed until budburst in mid-March. 

- Temperatures rose slowly and evenly between April 3 and 22, reaching a high of 25°C (77°F).

- A spring frost took us by surprise at the end of the month, but fortunately no harm was done at Château de la Chaize.

- The first half of May was cool and rainy, resulting in a slowing down of the growth cycle.

- However, record temperatures, from 30 to 32°C (86 and 90°F) on June 1 and 2 accelerated flowering. The return of rain and cooler temperatures in the first few days of June allowed the soil to replenish its water reserves. 

- Warm summer temperatures set in on Monday June 17 and one week later a heatwave struck, with temperatures ranging between 35 and 40°C (95 and 104°F), and lasted until July 1. These hot, dry conditions meant that the risk of cryptogamic disease was extremely low.

- Despite a significant slowdown in veraison at the beginning of August due to extremely wet weather, the second half of the month allowed the grapes to reach full maturity. Nevertheless, we had to remain vigilant for any potential threats of botrytis.

- Cool, autumn temperatures finally arrived on September 3 with nocturnal and early morning temperatures of close to 10°C (50°F).

- We began picking the grapes under these cool conditions on September 9, blessed with sunny, blue azure skies - perfect conditions for a healthy harvest.

Although we were expecting a typical “vintage ending in 9”, a solar vintage such as 1949, 1959, 1969, 1989 or 2009 -, 2019 was the 8th latest-ripening vintage in the past 28 years after 2013, 2016, 2008 and 2010, to name a few. It was also one of the lowest-yielding vintages on record, due to small bunches of grapes and meticulous sorting.

The grapes were harvested at their peak of phenolic maturity and boasted high sugar levels which were balanced by the natural acidity that is typical of our region’s emblematic Gamay grape.

The extraction potential of the polyphenols was lower, however, than for the two previous vintages.

As a result, our wines will not feature as deep, intense color, but their organoleptic profile will be fresher and softer on the palate.

After the rather solar vintages of 2017 and 2018, 2019 marked the return of a vintage that is typical of the Beaujolais, showcasing all of the freshness and crispness that the Gamay Noir grape is celebrated for!