I was struck by the photo (right) that cropped up on my phone over the weekend which highlights the similarities and differences between 2019 and 2020. Both of the vintages had a relatively mild winter and an early start to the vine growth – occasionally with 20°C in the vines in February. The vines are perhaps a little more advanced this year than in 2019. Where 2019 and 2020 currently diverge, is that April and most of May 2019 were much colder, significantly retarding the earlier gains in vine growth – there was even a sprinkling of snow in May. So far, that’s not been the case in 2020.
In 2020 we began the year with plenty of rain in the soil – but the year has been rather dry since then – rainfall has been rare in March and April 2020. The vineyards seem as dry as they might in July or August. Yes, the summer was hot in 2019 (the second hottest year on record), and for that reason, the harvest still almost touched on August despite the ‘lost’ weeks during April and May – but for now, there seems no relenting of the warm (for April) weather. If this continues we could be seeing new records again for harvesting dates – mid-August anyone?