A Field Report from Francis Boulard’s 43rd Champagne Harvest!

2015 Vendanges Rachais grappe petite

On this day of September 9th, 2015, I began my 43rd harvest.
To celebrate this 43rd anniversary, I’ve been given a promising crop! Despite regular rain over the last three weeks and the hydric stress provoked by a 2 month heatwave and drought, we have an exemplary sanitary state for picking. Honestly, these conditions had me anticipating a catastrophic scenario similar to 2011. That year, a long period of dryness was followed by heavy rains a few days before harvest, leading to a tremendous amount of botrytis that cost us 30% of our crop.

2015 vendanges Rachais bois

Fortunately, this year the cool nights and cold morning (with temperatures hovering around 5° C) kept the bunches in great sanitary shape and with good natural degrees superior to 10 % Vol..

Here is the panorama from the top of the Rachais: …

2015 Vendanges Hurtebise panorama

Les Rachais’s grapes were also excellent, with potentials between 10,5 – 11 % Vol.
It’s looking like it’s going to be a great vintage.

2015 vendanges rachais blanc

After one week of picking under a generous, warm sun, we ended our harvest under heavy rain. 2 of those days were very tough: it was a real ordeal to cut the grapes, not to mention having to carry the last cases on slippery, muddy paths to the covered press.

2015 vendanges paradis
Despite the rain, the natural degrees and sanitary state of the last grapes remained high in quality, though the botrytis did start catching up with the vines towards the end.

So now, we wait for the alcoholic fermentations of these new wines to better understand the qualitative potential of grapes that suffered from 2 months of dryness and abundant rain in mid-August.

***Translation made by  Jules Dressner / our Importer Louis Dressner Selection in New York USA …
Many thanks Jules, for your help.
Source Traduction : Blog Louis Dressner Selections