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Heat and Drought Cause ‘Earliest Ever’ Wine Harvest, But Hope Remains

Bloomberg’s wine critic checks in on how major wine regions fared in this extremely challenging summer.

Workers for Château de la Tour harvest grapes not far from Château du Clos de Vougeot (background) in Vougeot in France’s Burgundy region on Sept. 7. 

Workers for Château de la Tour harvest grapes not far from Château du Clos de Vougeot (background) in Vougeot in France’s Burgundy region on Sept. 7. 

Photographer: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Corrected

In Portugal’s Douro Valley, the team at the Quinta do Vesuvio winery was stomping picked grapes in ancient stone lagares (troughs) in August. “Never in the history of this great estate, which dates to 1565, have grapes been trodden this early,” says Harry Symington, whose family has been producing premium ports in the Douro for five generations.

The nail-biting tale of the 2022 harvest—scorching heat and record-breaking drought that sped up ripening in vineyards from Germany to Paso Robles, Calif.—is another reminder of the power of climate change to upend the wine world.