If "August makes the quality" then the next few weeks are critical. I'm following the forecast on the wunderground weather site. There are forecasts with percentage probabilities. Also history with averages. There is even a report on degree days. http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/07280.html is the URL for the Dijon station. I think it may be possible to upload other weather stations too. Hope some of you find this useful.
Keeping an eye on the weather in Burgundy
(9 posts) (7 voices)
Thanks for the post.It would be great to read a vintner's post regarding grape progression in relation to the weather.
Situation in Mercurey (Côte Chalonnaise) as of saturday august 21st:
Veraison is progressing unevenly, with some parcels of Pinot noir reaching 75% and others still only at 25%. The difference between early and late terroirs is very noticeable - as opposed to 2009, when it was virtually absent. After 2-3 warm, even hot days, yet more rain is forecast for monday. Rot (pourriture grise) is present, but for the moment limited to a few bunches per plot. More rain, rising sugar levels and warm temperatures will speed up the development of pourriture. We need a prolonged period of dry weather to really clean up the vines naturally, something we have not seen since the thunderstorms of the 14th of july.
A relative newcomer is "black rot", a fungal disease that has been around for a while, but seems to be on the rise in the Côte Chalonnaise and the southern Côte de Beaune. In a few cases, up to 50% of the harvest is destroyed. However, in most cases a proper protection against mildew has contained the symptoms of black rot.
For chardonnay the situation is similar, also with sporadic rot. As chardonnay in general resists quite well to pourriture, this is no major worry. Growers that did not protect there vines properly may find themselves with significant levels of oïdium; fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. With veraison, the risk of further attacks of oïdium is greatly reduced.
With harvest dates at the end of september and less-than-excellent weather conditions, most Mercurey growers were still spraying their vineyards this week.
As for vintage quality, it is still too soon to say. Potentially, this could be a very good to excellent vintage, with classic Burgundy aroma's (a relatively cool summer) and plenty of stuffing (reduced crop levels due to coulure, and plenty of millerandage, both due to cold and rainy conditions during flowering). As stated in previous postings, the weather in the next 4 weeks will be crucial.
Roelof Ligtmans, Domaine de la Monette, Mercurey
Graet on the spot stuff Roelof - it's much appreciated...
Mercurey, Wednesday september 1st
Weather has been quite good most of last week, and in fact is turning into classic "pre-vendanges" weather this week. That is: lots of sunshine and "bize", a northerly wind that keeps temperatures down somewhat (20-24° maximum), but dries out the vineyards. Due to cold nights (8-10°) and dry conditions, rot has stopped developing (for the moment). The pronounced difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures will enhance classic pinot aroma's in the wines.
The grapes are maturing fast, taking on a degree of alcohol in 3 to 4 days in these conditions. In the Côte Chalonnaise, sugar levels are about 160 grams/litre, which is about 9° alcohol. Acidity levels are about normal, with a little bit more malic acid than usual. This is due to the lack of really hot days in august. Phenolic ripeness will not be far behind, the first signs (lignification of the stalks) are beginning to appear. Overall, maturity graphs, which started off on the level of 2004 and 2008, are now gathering speed and starting to look more like 2001.
The weather forecast remains excellent for this week, maybe some rain early next week.
Harvesting grapes for Crémant de Bourgogne is scheduled to commence (in the Côte Chalonnaise)on monday september 13 for some vignerons. Harvesting pinot noir will probably start september 20, chardonnay and aligoté a few days later.
At Domaine de la Monette, we have not yet taken any final decisions. Things are developping quickly now, and my gut feeling is that we will be harvesting sooner rather than later. Various signs seem to indicate the vines are approaching the end of their annual cycle, and will be shutting down before the end of the month - making it useless to wait any longer. As from tomorrow, we will start analysing our grapes in three vineyards that seem to be ahead of the pack.
Domaine de la Monette
This is great insight, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the post especially at this busy time. It makes us appreciate even more the labor and love that goes into the wines we enjoy. Good luck with the vintage.
Great post Roelof, many thanks.
Seems everything might be accelerating from the, as you say, 'classic pre-vendanges' weather - that famous drying north wind again - and cold nights ! The latter makes me shiver at the thought of the likes of crossing the yard at Domaine Arlaud in the early morning to the "bathroom" facilities !!!
I was highly intrigued by your maturity graphs comment as I have been thinking a lot lately this year was having more and more portents of 2008.
Cyprien Arlaud had suggested 24th or 25th Sept start date to me but am now thinking maybe no surprise if this comes forward to around the 20th as Christine Dubreuil had already mooted. We'll soon know I guess.
Very best wishes for your vendange.
Awesome website, thoroughly enjoying it!
My husband and I are in Tournus until 22nd September and were really hoping to do a local vendanges (credit crunch + curiosity on husbands behalf - I did them as a student I don't think he believes me when I say how back breaking it all was...) , from what I read they are later this year :( Seems we will miss out.
Interested in the Crémant though, is that still looking like an earlier start? Have tried to contact a few places locally - Lugny, Plottes, to no avail as yet. If anyone has any contacts I would appreciate the help.
Good luck all on the vendanges throughout Burgundy!
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