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Following the 2009 harvest online

21 Sep 2009 by Jancis Robinson

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 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 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, where picking started on 8 Sep.

More suggestions please!


The predictions of a vintage always seem to be rather generalised - with a bit more of an insight it is amazing what the differences are within the vintage . I see that in Bordeaux there was a Decanter quote that it would be a " technical " vintage . If Merlot is already at 14-15% e.g perhaps harvested too late - Cabernet Franc is also likely to be overripe - this almost certainly means that ph is high and acidity low - this also may mean that water and tartaric acid additions calculations will be rather critical !   On the subject of generalisation it might be interesting to look at the effect of a hot year on the relative areas and varieties e.g not all varieties in all areas will make good wine just because it is hot . Perhaps this research has already been done - but it would be also useful  to see vintages related to pH , acid and alcohol ( naturally derived ) in Bordeaux  - my feeling is that given the above comments - high alcohol is not the single maker of a great vintage    

28 Sep 2009 13:31 by Jonathan Rodwell

Here are two other 2009 Burgundy harvest blog sources:Simone Sylvestre: Jenson:

25 Sep 2009 20:10 by Paul Miserez

 Angelus in St-Emilion started picking today and can be followed at (click on the Travel & Diary News at the bottom right-hand corner of the web page)

  25 Sep 2009 17:42 by Jancis Robinson

There's a great bit of footage shot yesterday, 24 Sep, at

from the early-picked parcels of the Tesserons' Ch Lafon Rochet in St-Estephe starring Basile Tesseron.  Look at those healthy, even Merlot grapes!


25 Sep 2009 10:15 by Jancis Robinson

Hi Jancis & all, My update of the 2009 vintage is made daily and available both in the English and French section of my website. all you need is to click on the "English version" link at the top of the page to read my notes and hear the interviews in the language of Shakespeare! Cheers! Jean-Marc.

24 Sep 2009 22:11 by Jean-Marc Quarin

Bordeaux-based independent wine commentator Jean-Marc Quarin reminds me that French speakers can follow his daily observations at

24 Sep 2009 07:53 by Jancis Robinson

For a Languedoc perspective, there is also Diary of a Vineyard on , or less expansively,

22 Sep 2009 20:01 by Danielle Whitehead

Chateau Lafon-Rochet in St Estephe has an excellent blog & youtube set up: Or follow the action on twitter, at  

22 Sep 2009 15:36 by Erin Pooley

Harvest at Coche-Dury (Meursault) started on mondag 7 and finished on tuesday 15 september. First week in very good weather conditions, we finished just on tuesday afternoon (the 15th)with rain while picking the aligoté grapes ... The pinot noir parcels where picked on several days, but with reasonable alcohol levels (12.5°) to keep enough freshness, dixit Jean-Francois. Raphaël Coche (the son of JF) did a severe tri on the reds! The chardonnay looked nice, almost no pourriture. But in my opinion not as beautiful as in 2005 (the same for the pinot noir). Reasonable alcohol levels (between 12.5 and 13.4°)with enough acidity. Super grapes at Les Rougeots, Caillerets, Perrieres and Corton-Charlemagne! Another good year on "9" said JF, looks a bit like 1979. Quantity and quality! We (the pickers) finished with the traditional "paulée" and the traditional good wines of JF (Perrieres 1999 and Corton-Charlemagne (magnum) 1990)

21 Sep 2009 20:21 by ronny debaere

You can follow Palmer here: After the weekend rain, this week is looking dry in Bordeaux! 

21 Sep 2009 11:32 by Alan Michael G

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