Grape quality is looking good, Budin said

Grape quality is looking good, Budin said

The head of Credit Agricole's wine subsidiary has said that forecasts of a poor 2014 vintage for Bordeaux and Burgundy have proved premature.

Thierry Budin, whose CA Grand Crus company has just completed a EUR5m (US$6.4m) renovation of its Château de Santenay estate, said the quality of this year's harvest has turned out better than expected after bad weather in July. Budin said six weeks of warmer weather and winds ahead of the harvest helped bring the grapes to maturity.

“It's going to be a good vintage,” Budin told just-drinks at a press event in London today. “In Bordeaux, the Merlot is surprising people and has turned out better than expected. In Burgundy, they are at the stage of crushing the white grapes and I can tell it will be a great vintage.”

CA Grand Crus, which operates eight estates in Bordeaux, recently overhauled the wine-making facilities at its Château de Santenay, including adding two new reception hoppers and stainless steel vats. The château, which has the largest vineyard in the Mercurey appellation, has also upgraded its cellar space.

Budin said the château aims to lead the appellation. “It will take perhaps five to six years to realise the goal, but we will only be strong if we produce the right quality,” he said.

The overhaul is part of a plan to realise the potential of the estate, the management of which was taken over by CA Grand Crus in 2012.