The Belgian grape harvest is expected to be “exceptional” this year, according to Pierre Rion, President of the Walloon Wine-growers Association (AVW). Wine-growers in Namur, Liège and Huy are also expecting a good harvest, though French growers aren’t. “We had a cold spring, which caused late flowering, and no major climatic incidents. The crops are ripening well thanks to this summer’s heat. I think we will have an exceptional year, in terms of quality and quantity. However, it’s not a done thing until it’s all in the vats”, he says. Mr Rion is also the co-director of the Domaine de Mellemont. The harvest there will be done in the second two weeks of September.
Wallonia has around thirty wine-growers under recognised names (“Côtes de Sambre et Meuse”, “Vins des pays des jardins de Wallonie”, “Vin mousseux de qualité de Wallonie”, and “Crémant de Wallonie”). They are spread over five provinces, with a total of around fifty hectares. Wallonia also has 55 hectares of vines that are used make wine with no name.
Due to this summer’s drought, experts say vines in Bourgogne and Beaujolais in France have produced very small grapes. The harvest is expected to be smaller this year, falling by a third in Beaujolais, but still good quality.