The chai (winery) manager's teenage son wrestles with the hoses at Chateau Gaudrelle.
Over in Vouvray it's a disaster. Many growers waited until around 10 October to start picking and the heavens have opened on them. Until a few of days ago it remained quite warm too, so the fungi were growing on the grapes while you looked at them. The original plan had been to leave the grapes as long as possible to try to achieve the best possible ripeness. They were also planning to make two passes through the vines, picking individual grapes by hand. This slows everything down, but was considered necessary, as the strange spring weather meant that individual bunches of grapes were a mixture of ripe and unripe berries. Flowering and pollination had been slow and intermittent earlier in the year, and the patchy development of the grapes is reflecting that now.
Grapes waiting to be pressed.
Grapes being transferred from the trailer to the press in the winery at Chateau Gaudrelle.
The worry will continue, as winemakers hope that their cellar stocks can compensate for this poor harvest. They need to be able to meet the needs of their regular customers or they will go elsewhere -- and not necessarily elsewhere in France, as all regions in France are reporting poor harvests.