The autumn is a delightful time to visit the Loire Valley. Mild weather, fewer crowds, autumn leaf colours and wild mushrooms are some of the attractions. Come any time from mid-September until mid October to be sure of witnessing the grape harvest or vendanges.
The official date of the beginning of the harvest is set by the local authorities and will vary each year according to weather conditions. From when the first blossoms emerge to the harvesting of the grapes takes around 100 days. Wine growers will be looking for peak ripeness by studying sugar, acidity and tannin levels to determine the exact date for each parcel and each variety in their vineyard.
Picking may be by hand or by machine and you will see both. We will witness the arrival of grapes at the winery and smell the result as the grape juice turns to wine. With luck, there will be Bernache, partly fermented grape juice, to taste and en primeur wine afterwards. In good years, late harvest sweet wines will be produced in some appellations.
This is one of the most exciting periods in the vineyard but calls for a little understanding and discretion: everyone is very busy at this time of the year and some will be too busy to see us.
"All -inclusive" full day tour pricing and availability : €350 per person including local pickup. Minimum 2 people. Tours available September and October - please contact us to check availablity. The grape harvest season varies each year by as much as a month and is impossible to predict in advance. Picking may have finished when you come, but there will be lots of activity in the wineries.
|Mid Sept to Mid Oct|
|Monday - Sunday||9.30 - 17.30|
|Mid March to Early Sept|
|Monday - Sunday||Not Available|
|Mid November to Mid March|
|Monday - Sunday||Closed|