There has not been much time this year to train the temporary staff who come to help us out at harvest time. For the grape picking alone, our comany's workforce triples in size for a period of 3 to 4 weeks.
Trucks of grapes purchased from our contract growers continue to arrive at a steady rate, creating some traffic jams in the centre of Riquewihr. The last truck of the first day was not unloaded until about 2:00am and the final press was filled around 3:30 this morning..
The day's picking concerned the 3 Pinot varietals : Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. Although we have received some grapes from a handful of vineyards that had to be picked early to prevent deterioration, in general the sanitary state of the crop is exemplary with good ripeness levels.
On this first day we have brought in just over half of our purchased Pinot Noirs at potential alcohol levels mainly between 11.5 and 12.5. We have seen better results in the past... but also far worse !
On our family estate, a small team is harvesting a few isolated parcels that were on the fringe of the terrible hail storm of 20 June.
We again invite you to consult the daily figures from our own weather station. The comparison between the daily temperature and humidity levels during the months of May and August are quite interesting. These figures show that we have witnessed a very unusual growing season in 2007. Both temperature and humidity levels were more favourable in May than in August. In August 2003 we had several days above 40° C, while there was not a single day above 30 in 2007 !