2007 vintage report Châteauneuf-du-Pape

A very healthy harvest following an exceptionally dry summer…

With just 35 mm of rain between the 16th of June and the 15th of September, we can confirm that the summer of 2007 at Châteauneuf-du-Pape was an exceptionally dry one. According to the agricultural weather forecasting centre based at Carpentras, it is probably the driest for the last twenty years. The average rainfall recorded was 161 mm (The weather station at Orange).

The rainfall in the last few days (about 20 mm between the 16th and the 18th of September) was welcome. The short spell of rain did not bear any negative consequences on the course of the grape harvest which starts to draw to an end.

The summer of 2007 had more wind than usual (20 days of strong Mistral between the 1st of July and the 15th of September) and slightly more sunshine than usual (1.157 h against 1.145 h on average).

In spite of strong variation in temperatures, marked by 30 days when the minimum temperature laid between 10 and 15°C, and only 7 days when the maximum temperature was higher than 35°C, the seasonal averages remain aligned with the norm (slightly higher in June and September but slightly lower in July and August).

The weather summary for the last few months is consistent with what was observed in the vineyards : the summer of 2007 favoured a vintage of quality, endowed with good aromatic balances and beautiful colours.

In the vineyards, sorting is reduced to a strict minimum, allowing harvesting to progress quickly and smoothly. The vineyard needed minimum sorting and the grape pickers advanced with ease, thus giving the winemakers the opportunity to stop harvesting for a day or two during the week to wait for the grapes reach their perfect maturity, optimizing the potential of the 2007 vintage.

The quantity of this year’s harvest is slightly higher than the decennial average with yields that should range between 32 and 34 hl/ha, for an authorized maximum of 35 hl/ha.

The 2007 vintage is estimated to be along the same lines as the four previous ones.

2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages were tasted on September 15th at a seminar organized during the ‘Rhône Valley wines festival’ in Copenhagen, and will also be presented on October 22nd in London during an exhibition of wines from Tavel and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.