With the possibly excellent (although of course it's still in the lap of the weather gods for later-ripening varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon) 2009 vintage well underway in the northern hemisphere, there are more and more vineyard reports and blogs available to keep us absolutely up to date. Here's a selection but do please add more that you think are worthwhile in the comments box below.
Hugel of Alsace
were early adopters of this sort of technology and promise us live updates and short films at http://blog.hugel.com/en/harvest/
now that the 2009 harvest, which they are hoping will their third great vintage in a row, is under way. This, of course, will be the family's first vintage without the late, great Johnny Hugel. The family reports, '
[as] a strong symbol of continuity, this year will also see the first participation of the 13th generation. Cousins Marc André and Jean Frédéric
tell us about their expectation for their first vintage in the family company.' You can also follow Hugel on Twitter
and on Facebook
. (Personally, I feel Facebook is an electronic step too far for me. I just don't think I, or any of our team, have the time to keep it up to date. What do you think?)
The Douro Valley in Portugal with its port business is not one normally associated with technological innovation but this year Quinta dos Malvedos promises that their harvest blog at www.malvedos.wordpress.com will be updated daily. The beautiful picture below of last year's picking crew adorns the site.
In Bordeaux, there are probably dozens of harvest blogs of which I am unaware. The Despagne family have an active blog at http://blog.despagne throughout the year which is keeping us abreast of what is going on in their northern corner of the Entre-Deux-Mers, very close to St-Émilion, but of course many of us would treasure a reliable daily record of what's going on in the Médoc too. Has anyone any suggestions?
I know that owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos was planning to have a presence on Twitter for her first-growth Château Margaux but, despite several attempts, I have been unable to find her or it there (although I'm amazed by how many more Margauxs there are there).
And then of course there is Bauduc TV, courtesy of Gavin and Angela Quinney near Créon between Bordeaux and Bergerac.
In Burgundy it is hardly surprising that Boisset are ahead of the game with detailed harvest bulletins promised at their most prestigious property www.domainedelavougeraie.com, where picking started on 8 Sep.
More suggestions please!