I truly hope that in 4 or 5 years time, the 2020 vintage will be remembered for its wines, rather than Covid-19.
Sunday-Monday I made a short excursion to Beaune – 16.5 hours in total.
It wasn’t entirely clear whether the Swiss would let me leave Switzerland, but they quizzed my reasons and then waved me on; having been away from my apartment for 12 weeks, I really wanted to check that all was well – and fortunately, it was. So I came back home to Bern as no-one is open for visits. The border officially opens 16 June – let’s see if any domaines will be open to visits then!
It was sobering to take a short walk around Beaune – Monday lunchtime but with practically nowhere to lunch – apart from a couple of sandwicheries all was closed. Not a single cafe in Place Carnot was open – but then there were also no people to be seen. Actually, far fewer people and less places open than in mid-January.
Before returning, I took a jog around some Meursault vineyards – an easy 7km photo tour – I knew you wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t get the obligatory ‘vines in flower’ image! According to the Chambre d’Agriculture, the Côte de Beaune & and Côte de Nuits chardonnay has finished its flowering, and the pinot noir is at the mid-flowering stage. The Hautes Côtes have only their first flowers. Despite some cool weather, the strong sun has pushed the growth forward – roughly equal to, or up to two days behind, the same stage of growth as in 2007 and 2011 – so still one of the earliest vintages on record – more than a week ahead of 2015, 2017 & 2018 and an almost unbelievable 24 days ahead of 2019 – though the heat of June and July accelerated 2019 in the mid-season.
There was plenty of wind, despite the sunshine, above the level of wind allowed for treating (with sprays) so some domaines were already giving their vines a haircut. Certainly, I saw more people in the vines than in Beaune!