A Promising 2022 Harvest for French Wine Growers!

© Alexandre Couvreux

The 2022 harvest, which was particularly early in most French wine regions, is now over. Did the vines bear fruit, despite this summer’s heat wave and drought? Should we be worried or excited for the wines of 2022? So far, so good! The harvest in French vineyards has been a success, particularly in Champagne, where they’re expecting a vintage! L’Atelier du Vin, a French manufacturer of wine and oenology tools since 1926, is a family business that has cultivated a traditional know-how from father to son, with a foot in the Champagne vineyards. Join us on a tour of France’s 2022 wine harvest!

An Early but Successful 2022 Harvest in France

© Alexandre Couvreux

Harvesting is the highlight of every wine season. Grape picking is an ancestral tradition, and a unique, emotion-filled experience that brings everyone together. It is also the moment of truth for winegrowers, as it confirms the quality of the grapes and what to expect of the wine to come.

This summer in France, the heat wave and drought wreaked havoc in the agricultural sector. Some feared the worst for the 2022 wine harvest. Fortunately, as most winegrowers predicted, the deep-rooted vines actually benefitted from the heat.

The Vines Reacted Well to the Drought and Heat

Vines can withstand heat and water stress, meaning that they were not impacted by the soaring summer temperatures and lack of rain. For most winegrowing regions, 2022 has been a better harvesting year than the last.

The lack of water has made this year’s French grapes more concentrated, with large full clusters. The weather conditions also preserved them from any diseases until maturity, which explains their quality. At the end of September, after an early harvesting period in most French vineyards, everyone is in agreement… 2022 has been a good harvest!

© Alexandre Couvreux

2022 Wine Harvest: A Tour de France

Wine growers have enjoyed more or less successful harvests, depending on local specificities, especially where frost and hail struck. Here is a quick overview of the 2022 harvest in the main French wine-producing regions:

© Alexandre Couvreux

  • Bordeaux and South-West: earliest wine harvest ever and a smaller production, but ripe and healthy grapes. A small drop in acidity has given way to stronger aromas and higher sugar levels.
  • Burgundy: lmoderate yield but a well-balanced powerful yet fresh juice, of remarkably good quality. 2022 promises to be a good year.
  • Alsace: healthy grapes despite the difficult weather conditions, with different levels of maturity depending on the area and a rising pH overall. This will give the wine interesting aromatic qualities.
  • Loire Valley: beautiful bunches, and juicy, healthy grapes, much to winegrowers’ delight, presaging great tasting sessions.
  • Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley: an early harvest for some and late for others, but good quality grapes, including in Beaujolais, and excellent wines in prospect.
  • Côtes de Provence: the 2022 grapes were early but very ripe, rich in taste and free of parasites, promising wines with great potential.
  • Languedoc-Roussillon: it was hot on the Occitan hillsides, but the vines delivered an exceptional juice, and a much higher yield than last year.
  • Corsica: 2022 is about quality not quantity on the Isle of Beauty, with fewer but sun-gorged grapes, which will provide a nice wine for 2022.
  • Champagne: the 2022 harvest has been quite simply exceptional in the Champagne vineyards, for both the quality of the juice and the quantity of grapes, which is why a great vintage is expected this season!

Is 2022 the Year of a Great Vintage in Champagne?

Bubbles are back! The 2022 harvest in the Champagne region has been exceptional. The summer drought had a positive effect on the vines. The region’s chalky soil preserved the necessary humidity, while the heat eliminated the risk of grape disease.

© Alexandre Couvreux

The 2022 harvest has been a huge success for all Champagne vineyards. The large, full clusters of healthy and ripe grapes promises the best before the maceration process. Whispers of an exceptional year can be heard in cooperative wine cellars and storehouses. We will know shortly if the Champagne wines of 2022 will be vintage (bottled only with grapes from the 2022 harvest). Champagne winemakers will also be able to build their reserves back up for years to come.

Will 2022 Keep its Promises?

A successful harvest is of course a good omen for the wine to come, but it’s important to be cautious and patient before the wine-making process. Either way, the quality of the grapes and harvest makes 2022 a particularly promising year…

Let’s trust our French winegrowers’ know-how and experience to bring out the best in this year’s nectar. Meanwhile, feel free to explore L’Atelier du Vin’s oenology and sommelier accessories designed to enhance each tasting session, while sharing good times.

© Alexandre Couvreux