Because of the continuing good weather it seems Belgian grapes will be picked several weeks earlier than usual, reports the Belga news agency. Belgium is following the example of another northern wine region, Champagne, where the ripening of the grapes is at least three weeks ahead of the situation in “normal” year. Paul Vleminckx of Chardonnay Meerdael in Oud-Heverlee thinks he will harvest in mid-September, instead of in the first week of October. The early maturing normally will not harm the quality of the grapes, said Vleminckx. The same story is heard in Riemst, where Château Genoels-Elderen will harvest the grapes for its sparkling wines early September and for it Chardonnay-based still wines at the end of September.