The following is a translation of the message received on 13 October 2020 from Catherine and Patrick Lopez:
"We are thinking of you all at this time, which is so difficult for everyone everywhere, and we hope that you are all in good health.
Here is some news from Hautvillers:
In March we had municipal elections. Patrick and a number of old committee members did not wish to stand again for election and a whole new team has been elected, with Sylvère Pierrot as the new Mayor.
Concerning the harvest: this year we had no winter, no cold weather, no snow, but a lot of rain. February was the wettest month ever recorded. From 17th March to 11th May, because of Covid-19, our inhabitants were confined to their homes, but nature thrived and work in the vineyards continued - of course with social distancing!
Buds started to appear at the beginning of April, 16 days ahead of the usual time scale. Spring had already arrived! July was the driest month ever, inhibiting any disease or parasites. The grapes were plump and healthy.
Harvest began on the 19th August for Meuniers grapes, followed by the Pinot Noir and lastly the Chardonnay. All three varieties are exceptional, with an excellent balance between sugar and acidity. Always under the hot August sun, the harvest was completed on 28th! This is the earliest harvest any of the wine makers can remember.....
We are now waiting for the end of fermentation to taste the “vin clair” from this strange year of 2020!
Patrick and I both send you all our very best wishes."