Last week was time for my annual sit down with Santiago Achával, co-owner of Argentina’s Achával-Ferrer winery. (For more on the winery, see my previous sit downs with Santiago in 2007 and 2006.) Achával left me with barrel samples of his 2008 portfolio, a vintage that I saw the winery sorting during my visit there in March of this year.
The Rhône Valley isn’t the only major wine region having a tough go of it in 2008. The Loire Valley is also struggling as they prepare for their harvest. Following a growing season that was marked by extremes, from a severe frost in Muscadet in April to a nasty hailstorm in Sancerre in June , growers are now dealing with the effects of cool, gray days and persistent rain.
I've been checking in with a few producers in the Rhône as they gear up for their 2008 harvest. The growing season (which I'll report on more once the harvest is complete) has been tricky in both the north and south, with spring rains and humidity that led to difficult flowering, lower yields, and tougher disease pressures in the vineyards.
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