2023 Grape Harvest in France: A Vintage Year for French Wine?

© Alexandre Couvreux

2022 was an exceptional vintage year in many of France’s wine regions. Has the 2023 harvest been as successful? What trends are emerging in the main winegrowing regions? Harvesting is a key period for winegrowers. In the Champagne region, where L’Atelier du Vin is based, it rewards generations of care and hard work. This time of year punctuates the production of our wine tools and oenological instruments for winegrowers, sommeliers, wine merchants, and passionate oenophiles. Here is L’Atelier du Vin’s early autumn assessment of the grape harvest for this new winemaking season in each of France’s wine regions.

A Contrasted but Successful 2023 Harvest in France

As winegrowers and seasonal workers wrap up the harvesting season, the first estimates are beginning to emerge from wineries and cooperatives around France. French wine production is forecast to reach approximately 990 million gallons following the 2023 French harvest. However, more or less significant differences can be observed from one wine region to the next.

Some areas experienced difficult weather conditions this year. This summer’s heatwave lowered acidity levels and raised the natural alcohol content of grapes in the worst-hit regions, not to mention the hail and heavy rainfall that swept across certain winegrowing terroirs in September. Downy mildew also ravaged several French vineyards.

© Alexandre Couvreux

Nonetheless, the vines in most French wine regions stood strong and winegrowers implemented ingenious solutions throughout the year to face these challenges. Overall, throughout September, and in some cases as early as mid-August, the 2023 harvest was a success.

Winemaking in Anticipation of the 2023 Vintage

The quality of the 2023 vintage doesn’t depend solely on the success of the harvest, although this stage is decisive. Hand harvesting, harvesting machines, early harvesting, late harvesting, grape sorting… Each winery and winegrower has its methods and savoir-faire to get the best out of the grapes they add into vats.

© Alexandre Couvreux

Just like every year, the different stages of vinification and aging will also play a decisive role in the creation of each cru. Depending on the techniques used for crushing, pressing, alcoholic fermentation, maceration, malolactic fermentation, racking, filtering, and blending, the grapes harvested in 2023 can be improved or modified during the meticulous winemaking process.

As such, each cuvée will have its own personality. But certain trends in white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines are already emerging from the 2023 harvest. In most French wine regions, 2023 is forecast to be a good vintage year.

2023 French Wine Harvest Forecast per Region

The 2023 wine season was eventful for French vineyards, some of which experienced extreme weather. The Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace, and Burgundy were spared from downy mildew, leading to good production volumes and grape quality. Bordeaux, on the other hand, was ravaged by downy mildew, as well as the heatwave, hail, and heavy rainfall that hit the south of France. Here is a forecast of the 2023 harvest in France for each winegrowing region.

Summary :

An Abundant 2023 Harvest and a Great Vintage Expected in Champagne

Champagne’s 81,000 acres of vines produced a lot of grapes in 2023, with exceptional production quality at the Côte des Blancs. Groundwater levels remained low, but it rained all year; this combination of sun and rain resulted in a record average weight per bunch. In September, the conditions were perfect. There was no stress on the vines. The grapes ripened and didn’t rot.

However, a few difficulties were observed in the Marne Valley with the Meunier variety. Winegrowers in Champagne also had to be cautious due to the proliferation of certain fungi. But overall, the 2023 Champagne harvest was a great success! Excess water led to dilution, with lots of juice and less natural alcohol content. Beautiful fruit aromas and floral notes, as well as good acidity, have already emerged, making for an excellent 2023 Champagne vintage.

© Alexandre Couvreux

A Miraculous 2023 Harvest in Languedoc Rousillon Despite Extreme Weather

The Mediterranean coast experienced bad drought, sometimes halving harvest volumes. Although vines can survive scorching heat, they produce less juicy and acidic grapes than usual. Downy mildew also caused some damage.   The vines in Roussillon suffered severe water stress, except for those at the foot of the Pyrenees, whereas the vines in Languedoc experienced heavy rainfall and an “episode cévenol” (storm specific to the south of France) in September.   Despite these extreme conditions, the 2023 harvest in the Mediterranean wine region looks promising. The vines’ tough and deep roots were able to draw on unexpected resources to ensure that the grapes continued to grow. Will the summer heatwave have a positive impact on the 2023 vintage in Occitanie?

A Contrasted 2023 Harvest in the Loire Valley

After several difficult years, Loire Atlantic winegrowers finally have a reason to smile. The Nantes, Vendée, Poitiers, and Angers regions experience a good balance between sunshine and rainfall, resulting in a successful 2023 harvest in terms of volume and quality.   However, the forecast is more contrasted in Centre Val-de-Loire, in the lands of Quincy, Reuilly, Sancerre, and Pouilly Fumé, depending on the vineyard and micro-climate. Nonetheless, according to the last information shared by local winegrowers, the 2023 harvest appears to have been a success.

A Difficult 2023 Harvest in Bordeaux and the Southwest

The Bordeaux 2023 vintage is said to be promising in quality but scarce in quantity. The 2023 harvest in the southwest of France was hit by downy mildew. Despite the precautions taken by winegrowers, this resulted in a significant drop in volume compared to what was expected. Some lost the vast majority of their harvest potential.   A 2023 AOC Bordeaux or Southwest vintage will probably be more difficult to find at your local wine shop. However, winegrowers in Bordeaux and Aquitaine, with their inimitable savoir-faire, will no doubt produce excellent wine.

A Successful 2023 Alsace Vintage After a Good Harvest

The 2023 harvest in Alsace lived up to all its promises! In the land of Riesling and Gewurztraminer, the grape harvest was abundant, which bodes well for the 2023 Alsace vintage wine.   The northeast of France was spared this year by frost and was less impacted by the high temperatures experienced elsewhere in the country. As a result, Alsace’s still and sparkling 2023 wines are looking very promising, provided that the winemaking process can prolong the quality of the harvest.

An Optimal 2023 Burgundy Harvest, with Promising Grands Crus

During the 2023 harvest in Burgundy, winegrowers filled their vats with must. Rain spared the Burgundy wine region from drought and heatwaves, thus enabling pickers to harvest grapes in the best possible conditions. Burgundy wines are renowned for their finesse and the 2023 vintage will certainly not disappoint, much to the delight of oenophiles and wine lovers alike.

A Complex Harvest in the Rhône Valley But an Interesting Vintage

The persistent heat this summer strongly impacted the 2023 harvest in the Rhône Valley, causing the grapes’ natural alcohol levels to rise without reaching taste maturity. Winegrowers in the region now face a big challenge. Will master winemakers and oenologists be able to convert these atypical characteristics into a 2023 vintage with a fine aromatic signature? Time will tell, but stronger wines and unexpected aromatic signatures may well emerge.

A Good 2023 Harvest in Provence Despite Losses

The Provence hillsides experienced extreme heat, as well as hail and, in some areas, downy mildew. Yet, despite losses, Provence’s vineyards resisted the drought fairly well. AOC vineyards in Provence are set to produce fine bottles of wine after a good 2023 harvest.

An Early and Successful 2023 Harvest in Corsica

The grapes harvested early in 2023 in Corsica were juicy and abundant. The sunshine and lack of disease on the island, combined with winegrowers savoir-faire and hard work, create ideal winemaking conditions. The 2023 Corsican vintage is therefore forecast to be a good one.

A Fine 2023 Vintage Forecast for the Jura Region

The various grape varieties grown in the Jura vineyards were relatively spared by frost and the heatwave. Despite the presence of downy mildew and powdery mildew, winegrowing professionals are fairly satisfied with the quality of the 2023 harvest in the Jura region. Climate change seems to be gradually settling into the region, with temperatures slowly increasing from one season to the next. The 2023 Vin Jaune, Vin de Paille, Macvin, and Marc du Jura vintages will delight wine lovers.

A Providential 2023 Harvest in Savoie

The 5,000-acre Savoyard winegrowing terroir enjoyed plenty of sunshine in August and eagerly awaited rain in September. Some plots lost a lot of grapes due to bad weather during the year, but overall, Savoie winegrowers emerged unscathed.

Despite late frost, hail, and a heatwave, winegrowers in Savoie were able to harvest healthy and rehydrated grapes at just the right time. This little miracle appears to have saved the 2023 Savoie vintage at the very end of the summer.

A Promising 2023 Vintage in Bugey

Bugey winegrowers started to cut their first grapes quite early this year. The weather was milder than in other parts of France and the 2023 harvest in Bugey appears to have been successful. The must put into vats was of high quality, heralding a promising 2023 vintage. We’ll have to wait a few more months to taste the wine and confirm this trend.

L’Atelier du Vin, Working Alongside Winegrowers and Wineries Since 1926

L’Atelier du Vin has been manufacturing sturdy and elegant French wine tools for nearly a century, at the heart of the Champagne winegrowing region. From 1926 to the present day, we have forged our craftsmanship alongside winegrowers, merchants, oenologists, sommeliers, and wine lovers, for whom our oenological instruments are designed. Exceptional corkscrews, tasting glasses, champagne accessories, serving and preservation tools, oenology sets, a map of French vineyards, wine cellar accessories: discover L’Atelier du Vin’s 2023 collection.


Editorial, visual and graphic elements strictly linked to copyrights. For any request of partial or total use, contact us.