Right: Pictured today in Marsannay Les Grandes Vignes – compare it to the picture at the top of the page – that’s what the growth looks like (this week) in an average year!
It was nice and warm just over a week ago in the Côte d’Or, but this week the weather is back into winter mode – well, winter 2015/2016 anyway. It’s been cool and wet for a few days now – 10-14°C – that really is the same as much of November to February. Marsannay also had two days in the last week with only 2°C in the early morning – pinot needs an average of 12°C over the day to grow. For the last week it probably hasn’t done much growing!
Sylvain Pabion, winemaker at the Château de Marsannay – who own 28 hectares of vines in Marsannay – says “Marsannay has been one of the villages most affected by the frost. Depending on the plot, as much as 90% has been lost.”
Two years ago I saw the first flowers in Meursault on the 21st May – so that’s unlikely to happen before June this year.
Right, you can see a mix of normal buds, not frosted with their latent flowers, you can also see the new buds, replacing those that were frosted. The way the weather is going, it could easily be another October harvest – and for the first buds – which would certainly put paid to hopes of harvesting something from the second buds. More importantly the next two weeks will show whether there is life in the cordons or not – if the only new growth is from the old wood rather than the cordons, then this is largely sterile, so there will also be no grapes in 2017! One grower shared with me “You know when there’s hail, after the initial shock we jump into the vines to save what we have, but this year we will still have to work the whole year in the vines, already knowing that in some cases there will be no harvest…”