Happy New Year trade folk!

To welcome you back into the daily grind, we’ve prepared another Harvest Report from ten of our friends in France, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Greece.

It may be a while off until the wines from this harvest are available to buy, but don’t forget to check our reports from Europe and the Southern Hemisphere last year, in case you’re in need of some wine buying inspiration for the year ahead.

If you’ve clicked through to this blog, you’ve most likely seen our fancy infographics (below), and fancy a read of all the nitty gritty details from the full interview. So without further ado from us, here’s what our rascals had to say about the latest harvest.


The harvest began on the 3rd of September with the white grapes, and finished on the 18th October with the grapes of Gigondas and Beaumes de Venise. The hot and dry weather during this period did not trouble them. The maturity of the grapes and the high concentration due to dry weather will give us a very beautiful Millesime with perfect equilibrium of freshness, fruit and body. We are very happy with the quality.

We had a lot of work this year because we bought a new winery called “Domaine des Nymphes”, located in Rasteau, 30 km far from Château la Croix des Pins. This domaine proposes wines of Cru Rasteau and Côtes du Rhône. We also began Organic agriculture in the vineyard.

In Rhône Valley, we faced a strong dryness in the vineyard. We had nearly no rain at all from April to the end of harvest on the 18th of October. However the volume was correct and grapes managed to keep their freshness. In addition, there was no stop in the maturity process as we knew from former years when the vines did not have enough water. It seems that the vines are able to adapt themselves to the new climatic conditions. It is incredible!

We did not face any disease in comparison with last year when there was strong Mildew attacks because of the highly rainy spring.

We have to be very cautious when we pulverise sulphur on the leaves of vines to protect them from disease. We make less treatment and we do them by night, when temperature is lower (below 25 °), to avoid the leaves’ burning from the sun. It was very important this year when we faced a temperature of 43° at the end of June and 40° at the end of July.


The harvest began august 20, 2019. Small grapes make up the bunches, meaning higher concentration. For our domain, degrees are lower than in 2018 and acidity is higher. We have a very good balance on the wines.

About the white, the harvest is down 15% compared to the last year. In fermentations, beautiful aromas of lychees, passion fruit and peach. A higher acidity which combines freshness and creaminess.

The rosés are dominated by red fruits, with a nice freshness. For the reds we had a 5% drop in harvest on the first plots. A lot of colour, and the extractability of aromas and tannins is very fast. The wines are very promising.

We had a vintage dominated by numerous climatic incidents. At the beginning of 2019, we suffered frost. In June we had a period of heatwave, Friday, June 28 was a day with an intense heat, unprecedented and unthinkable for wine-makers. (30°C at 10am, 40°C at 4pm and 45°C at 5pm).
Between 4pm and 5pm, a scorching wind made the thermometer rise and worked like a blowtorch on the vines already very stressed by a week of intense heat. Our vineyard has been affected with crop loss estimated between 10 and 15%.

We lost 10% of the harvest but we have a good harvest, qualitatively promising.

The whole vineyard is planted with native grape varieties resistant to the Mediterranean climate. But every year we have to face up to higher and higher temperatures, which is why we installed a system of irrigation. The use is limited because water is lacking in south of France.


2019 was an exceptional harvest in the sense that we had 2 massive heat waves during the summer reaching 42° in the vineyard with no fresh nights.

Consequently, the vine has suffered “échaudage”, which literally means that the grape and the leafs are burnt.

Nevertheless, the end of the summer has been fresh, with cold nights that have balanced out the heat waves.

Consequently, the key point of 2019 has been to undergo a careful selection of the grapes.

The quantity has been much better than originally expected and the quality has been exceptional. A good degree of alcohol and good acidity.


The 2019 vintage will remain marked by extreme weather conditions:

On June 28, 2019, we experienced an extraordinary heatwave followed by a major drought in July. Some of our grapes were roasted by the sun at the beginning of summer.

Also, paradoxically, the harvest was later than 2018. The vine roots had protected themselves and completely stopped developing for 10 to 15 days.

It is undeniable that drought phenomena are recurrent today and that climate change is a reality.

We must rethink our working methods in order to protect the grapes from the sun’s rays and avoid any cultivation practices that could amplify the effects of heat.

The 2019 harvest is the smallest in the last five years. Nevertheless, we are happy with our work and look forward to introducing you to this new vintage.

CAVE D’ALIGNAN DU VENT (Languedoc Rousillon)

For the first time, the harvest was very brief, lasting 1 month (from August 21 to September 20). The winegrowers were not relaxed, they sometimes worked from 2:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening because we brought home rosé at night and red wines during the day!

So, a very sustained and intense rhythm for the winegrowers and cellar staff.

The sanitary state of the harvest was exceptional (no disease) because the high heat killed the mushrooms!

The heatwave affected the yield-per-hectare of certain grape varieties, but the average harvest in the cellar was correct.


Our harvests usually start in mid-August, but this year they started a week later than last year (Monday 26 August). The start of vegetation was later due to the rather low spring temperatures, marked by regular rains. With the high Summer temperatures, maturity increased very quickly, forcing us to harvest at an unprecedented rate (12 days non-stop from 3 am to 10 pm), to stay in a good balance of freshness. The late varieties, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, have reached their optimum maturity potential without any problem because the health of the vines until the end of the harvest was remarkable. Thus, the organoleptic character of each grape variety has reached its peak, guaranteeing the aromatic quality and balance of promising blends. Overall, the vintage will be distinguished by a beautiful freshness, a frankness of structure and fruit typical of each grape variety, thus guaranteeing the complexity of the combinations. This suggests a great vintage, probably marked by its ageing potential in all three colours.


This year the grapes were very healthy and full of colour so we can estimate that the 2019 harvest is going to give us very well aged wines. Remember these words in 5/10 years!

This year was more relaxed. We were very lucky and when the heavy rains of September came and the hail didn’t touch our vineyards. This was lucky because there was hail 10 km away.

This year we have harvested earlier than ever. The grapes matured earlier because of the hot September. At the arrival of the winery they were very hot, and thanks to our self supply of energy (we have solar panels in our winery) we were able to refrigerate the grapes in order to avoid spontaneous fermentation.

SCHLUMBERGER (Poysdorf & Burgenland)

The bud break of the vines was very early (we were thinking this year would be earlier than last year) but then we got a very cold and rainy May. So we lost time and the flowering of the vines was in June. The summer was dry with some heat waves but from time to time we got also rain and which cooled us down. The vintage started very slowly. The acidity stood high and didn’t drop like it did in the the years previous.

Climate change is a big challenge. For the moment we can handle the changes in the vineyards and also in the wine cellar

HIRTL (Poysdorf)

This year we had fantastic quality. No extreme weather, no diseases, no pernospora pressure. We could harvest quite fluently, as there were normal weather conditions in September and October in contrast to the conditions last year. Grapes are very healthy, style is more fruity and a little bit more powerful than 2018.

Way more relaxed this year! No great heat, no bad rainfalls. Cool temperatures in the morning, normal temperatures around 20° Celsius during the day. Very fine working conditions!

We are controlling the leaf water content regularly to see if the vines have stress from drought. We are doing intense soil work to help them with saving humidity and developing nutrients. Extremely important is to provide a good situation for soil life to get these tiny creatures, helping us to develop an airy, aerated soil which is able to save humidity and therefore capacity. In order to shade the soils, bring nutrients into the soil and prevent soil loss due to strong weather conditions, we do intelligent greening with wisely selected herbs in our vineyards. Furthermore, we are helping our grapevines to strengthen themselves by spreading the nutrients evenly through the whole plant, by cutting all of its grapes into halves at the beginning of the major ripening phase in August. Instead of cutting just some, we cut whole grapes from the vine.

While we were handpicking our Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel DAC Franz from the vineyard Ried Kirchberg, a very huge, dark cloud of starlings hovered above the vineyard, waiting for us to leave so that they could have the delicious Grüner Veltliner berries. We really had to hurry up to be faster than them. Finally we won! But the main starling invasion arrived quite late this year, so we had almost had finished the harvest when they arrived in Weinviertel. At this time, there was just our Merlot out in the vineyards. But starlings prefer Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt, so our Merlot was safe. The birds helped themselves in neighbouring vineyards, who did not retrieve their Grüner Veltliner in time.


I started the harvest on the 4th of September and finished at the beginning of November. It was a classic vintage starting with the dry and finishing with the botrytised ones. I paid extra attention on making my entry level blend. Drinkability and complexity are the key goals I was hustling for. 2019 gives us elegant and vibrant wines with refreshing minerality finish.

This year was definitely more relaxed. I prepared myself for the same rush but fortunately the last few weeks of the developing period slowed down.  It was enough time to find the best maturity on each parcel. I enjoyed it very much!

The last decade has been very hectic. 2010, 2014, 2016 were extremely rainy and we had some extra hot years such as 2012, 2015 or 2018. One of our most important missions is to reduce the fenolic taste in the dry Furmint wines and increase drinkability when the complexity is maximised. We have been studying new technologies in the vineyards and making new plantations that will be growing the best grapes in the years to come.

Around the 20th of September the development of alcohol and maturity looked like it had stopped. For a week I was worrying whether we could get the balance or not. But somehow the nature moved on…


  • Late ripening season of approximately 15 days.
  • 90 days without rain before harvest.
  • No temperature extremities which led to a slow and even ripening. That means great flavour, colour and tannin development.
  • The first press with a nitrogen balloon arrived in Greece for our winery. This is a special piece of equipment which allows us to get fresher fruit flavours and elegant juice with no problems of oxidation. In every pressing cycle it fills the press with nitrogen protecting the fruit.
  • This year was the latest harvest finish of the decade (16th October).
  • Exceptional year for Moscofilero, maybe the best in many years.
  • The first year that Mr Dimitris Skouras, the new generation of the estate, took part in the harvest as oenologist.

When we are talking about climate change in Greece, we mostly see a change in the frequency of some weather extremities, like hail and heavy rains, but even these are not yet a threat. An increase of 0.5 oC doesn’t have the same impact in our country (which is already a warm place) as it might have in other countries with cooler climates.

Of course, we are preparing ourselves and we are experimenting with varieties and American roots that are resilient to drought and warm temperatures.