an update from the côtes…

Update 29.6.2021(28.6.2021)billn

It’s now the mid-point of the summer and to all intents and purposes, the flowering of the vines in Burgundy is now over.

The recent combination of plenty of rain and temperatures of around 30° means that the vines have exploded into life – the flowering this year – what flowers remained – was relatively fast. Whilst the flowering was quite quick despite the frost of April, it seems that the grapes are far from homogenous – small grapes, larger grapes and a mixture of sizes await in the same parcel.

The overall effect of the warmth and plenty of rain has been to push the growth cycle of the vines significantly forward such that comparing the same stage at the end of June in other vintages, 2021 is now roughly in line with 2012 and 2019.

End june 2021 - vintage comparisons
Vintage comparisons/estimations, above, from the Chambre d’Agriculture.

We can assume that if all other things remain equal, then 2021 will actually be an earlier vintage than either of 2012 or 2019 – that will be due to the much smaller crop, due to frost, which will ripen faster than if there were more grapes were on the vine. Domaines are currently pencilling in harvest from mid-September but we can keep an open mind for now.

Not unsurprisingly, given so much rain and warm weather together, there is currently a heightened risk of mildew in the vines. Normally, the weather conditions that are required for oïdium are quite different – but also the risk is relatively high for oïdium too at the moment. Certainly, the forecast for the next week is stormy and cooler – I will keep my fingers crossed that hail such as seen between Gevrey and Brochon plus the storm last week in Pouilly-Fuissé, will not re-occur.

A few mixed images from last week:

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