Vignerons sweating on perfect harvest conditions

Winemaker testing grape juice using a refractometer
A simple but time-consuming in-vineyard test allows winemakers to determine when their grapes are ready for harvest

Breath bated, fingers crossed, winemakers across France are working out when is the best time to harvest their grapes

In the run up to harvest, vignerons throughout France wait with bated breath and crossed fingers for their grapes to ripen perfectly.

When we talk of a great vintage, it often comes down to the weather before and during harvest. First of all, we don't want hail, which can strip the grapes off the bunches and damage whatever is left.

Rain is a mixed blessing. In 2016, France saw drought conditions in many wine regions which prevented the grapes from swelling to their proper size as well as preventing the vines from transpiring. When plants lack water, they close their stoma to prevent transpiration. ...

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