2020 – the state of play…

Update 16.7.2020(15.7.2020)billn

Chardonnay veraison
Harder to see than in pinot, obviously, but here is a little chardonnay veraison in Puligny, today

Today, 15th July, there were some modest showers of rain – but still enough to clog your shoes with argilo-calcaire if you were in the vines. The next ten days look dry and predominantly sunny – 26-32°C – that’s an accurate description of most of the summer to date. Good light seems to be an ever-present this year, so it is of no surprise that, despite no great heat, the vintage is keeping ahead of the all records for harvesting dates – it’s even 3 days ahead of the retained data for 2003, the grapes of both colours now starting to show veraison:

maturity 15 July 2020

We can reasonably expect that wines produced this year will be very different to most early vintages – those vintages typically showcasing hot summers – 2020 is different, no heat spikes and good growing conditions – it simply began its journey very early in the year. But for now, let us not forget the sage old saying that ‘August makes the must‘ – though these days it’s more like ‘the last two weeks of July and the first weeks of August that now make the must!‘ With that in mind, a week of 36-38°C will certainly change things – indeed it may block maturity and push the harvest much later down the line. Currently, many producers of whites have taken out their pencils and circled 20-25 August on their calendars and suggest that some of their parcels of pinot may be near the front of that queue!
*Arrow graphic from the Chambre d’Agriculture.

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