Started Monday sept 1st, ended sept 4th. Ideal weather : sunny and cool. Small yield : 2002’s was double. Ban de vendanges (official opening) was Aug 19th, earlier than ever. Previous records were Aug. 25th, 1822 and Aug. 28th, 1719 (from Dr Lavalle’s reference book). The grapes who were directly exposed to the sun suffered seriously from the extreme heat and drought. Many have dried and the ripening of the skins (and therefore of the tannins) was disturbed. It was important to eliminate every dry berry by a careful “triage”, and to base the decision on the date of harvest more on the taste of the grapes (including skins) than on chemical analysis of the juice. (Sept 6th, 03)