Positive Vintage Outlook in Bordeaux

The CIVB has declared a good 2023 vintage, despite the harvest beginning early, in mid-August. White and red grape varieties have benefited from the climatic and weather conditions, although the yield remains uncertain.

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The weather conditions allowed the red varieties to ripen uniformly (Photo: CIVB)
The weather conditions allowed the red varieties to ripen uniformly (Photo: CIVB)

Bordeaux's wine harvest of 2023 started a few days earlier than usual, in spite of the challenges due to difficult weather conditions throughout the year. According to the Bordeaux trade organization Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), the better weather at the end of the summer, with sunshine, warmth, sporadic rains and cooler nights, created the conditions for a good harvest.

However, it is too early to estimate the exact quantity, the final total yield will be announced by early 2024. 

News Wine

The Bordeaux region has been hit by a serious downy mildew wave, and the damage is still not clear.

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Unpredictable weather patterns and mildew

The weather conditions in spring were conducive to uniform blooming and good grape development. However, from June, vineyards experienced hot, humid weather, with precipitation and temperatures above the decade's average.

This led to the unprecedented mildew epidemic affecting all vineyards in Southwest France, with varying impacts across different parcels. The pressure from downy mildew will significantly affect the quantities - in some areas seriously, but it is too early to estimate the losses across the entire vineyard area. 

Post-veraison at the end of July, the pressure from disease decreased, and the exceptionally warm and dry weather conditions during the summer allowed the grapes to continue development and some could recover their health.

Temperature comparison (Credit: CIVB)
Temperature comparison (Credit: CIVB)
Precipitation comparison (Credit: CIVB)
Precipitation comparison (Credit: CIVB)

Bordeaux navigates market challenges

Throughout this year, Bordeaux has faced significant challenges due to declining prices and excess stock for generic red Bordeaux AOCs. This has led to plans, backed by a €57m fund from the French government and the CIVB, to uproot 10% of the vineyard area, addressing issues of excess stock and plummeting prices, which have resulted in long-term sales difficulties.

Additionally, the 2023 vintage will introduce new AOC red Entre-Deux-Mers wines, set to launch, at the earliest, in January 2025, diversifying Bordeaux’s offerings and potentially stimulating market interest amid ongoing challenges. PD

Vintage calendar
  • From August 16, 2023: Grape varieties for Crémants
    (mainly Sémillon, Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère).
  • From August 21, 2023: Grape varieties for dry white wines
    (Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, Sémillon, Sauvignon Gris).
  • From September 7, 2023: Grape varieties for red wines
    (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec/Cot, Carménère).
  • From the end of September: Grape varieties for sweet wines
    (Sémillon, Sauvignon, Muscadelle)
Insights Markets Wine

France's prestigious Bordeaux region is struggling with too much wine and too little demand. Here's how the wine-growing region is planning to fight its way out of the crisis. Alexandra Wrann reports.

Reading time: 11m 45s



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