2018 harvest report


As the harvest draws to a close across Europe, the picture emerging of the 2018 vintage is sure to make even the most hardened fine wine investor smile. After a difficult and disappointing 2017 when global production was at its lowest in the past 60 years and producers were forced to raise prices significantly, winemakers and buyers alike have been delighted with the bumper 2018 harvest. Across most of Europe’s premier wine regions quality has been very high, promising fantastic potential for investment in this vintage.


For many French winemakers 2018 will be a vintage to remember thanks to excellent weather conditions during the critical summer months. Despite some serious damage from hailstorms and issues with mildew after a wet June, Bordeaux’s vignerons witnessed the hottest July since 1947 giving grapes excellent concentration and ripe tannins.

The weather was particularly kind to France’s more northern regions of Champagne, Alsace and Burgundy where many growers started harvesting several weeks earlier than normal. Thanks to the warm conditions, white Burgundy is expected to have rich fruit and floral aromas while the reds will be dark and ripe with excellent structure. Conditions were also favourable in hotter southern France with fantastic quality expected for the northern Rhone in particular.


In Italy the picture is more mixed due to high levels of rainfall in some regions during the summer which did cause problems with fungal diseases. However, overall the quality of the grapes is very high thanks to the pleasant summer temperatures which helped to maintain a fine balance between ripe fruit character, firm structure and refreshing acidity levels. Wines from Piedmont and Tuscany in particular are tipped to offer excellent quality.


Spain is also something of a patchwork when it comes to assessing the 2018 harvest thanks to increased rainfall and very hot temperatures during June and July. In Catalonia the rain provided refreshing relief for vines that endured the lowest recorded rainfall in history in 2017, while in Rioja and Ribera del Duero producers are expecting concentrated wines that offer surprising finesse and elegance.

Overall, across Europe winemakers and growers are celebrating what has been a much-anticipated high quality crop after the difficulties of 2017. Only time will tell which of the 2018 vintage wines will become true legends, but for those interested in fine wine investment there is plenty to look forward to from this fantastic harvest.

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