When is the harvest ?

In France, the grape harvest takes place between August and October. The start of the harvest of grapes for wine is made official by a prefectoral decree: the "ban des vendanges". Warmer weather favours early harvests (from July).

When does the harvest begin in France ?

It's impossible to predict the exact start of the grape harvest in France. However, it can be said that the wine grape harvest in France runs from August to October.

The official start of the harvest is given by the "ban des vendanges", a prefectoral decree. The aim of this administrative authorisation is to guarantee the quality of the wines by harvesting at full maturity.

Variations in climate and weather, the location of the vineyard and the type of grape variety all influence the timing and duration of the harvest. As Alexandre Dumas wrote, "the air is mild in our country, and the harvest promises to be beautiful in Burgundy this year".

In countries other than France, the dates for harvesting grapes for wine change. In the southern hemisphere, they occur earlier in the year.

Impact of global warming on harvest dates

As a result of global warming, it is no longer so unusual for some harvests to start earlier in the year. In fact, it's a phenomenon that's tending to become more permanent. In the Gard region of France, the winegrowers at the Héraclès winery had their earliest-ever harvest in 2022. The harvest of Muscat grapes began on 29 July. In some vineyards, harvesting began as early as 25 July.

Wine calendar: what are the barvest dates by region ?

While it is impossible to give precise dates for the start of the grape harvest by region, we can generally establish averages by region.

Regions Harvest period
Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Corse Late august
Vallée-du-Rhône méridionale, Beaujolais Early september
Val-de-Loire, Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Jura, Savoie, Sud-Ouest, Vallée-du-Rhône septentrionale, Centre Mid-september
Champagne, Alsace End september
Charentes, Lorraine October

Regions Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Corse
Harvest period Late august

Regions Vallée-du-Rhône méridionale, Beaujolais
Harvest period Early september

Regions Val-de-Loire, Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Jura, Savoie, Sud-Ouest, Vallée-du-Rhône septentrionale, Centre
Harvest period Mid-september

Regions Champagne, Alsace
Harvest period End september

Regions Charentes, Lorraine
Harvest period October

How do we know when it's time to harvest ?

In the vineyard, the bunches of grapes must be fully ripe. In general, it takes around 100 days from the appearance of the first vine flower for the grapes to reach maturity. This period is affected by climatic conditions, weather and dry periods. The variety of grape as well as the type of wine produced also influence the ripening of the grapes. The grapes used to make white wines reach maturity before the bunches used for red wines.

Note that the green light for harvesting is given by the ban des vendanges.

wine picto

Aveine's tip

The word "harvest" refers to the period during which the grapes are picked.