The weather has cooled a little today and we’ve seen just a few drops of rain this afternoon – but practically nothing so far – certainly none of the heavy rain and flooding seen in some parts of France this week. There’s rain forecast for both overnight and daytime tomorrow but then the nice weather returns until Tuesday when storms are forecast – but they were also forecast for this week too – and it doesn’t look like we will be getting any of that.
I spoke to Jean-Pierre Tournier today, of the decently sized red/white Domaine François Gaunoux of Meursault and he said they were planning to start harvesting around the 25th – the traditionally earlier harvesters might be 5-6 days sooner. I also shortly chatted with Stephane Follin-Arbelet of the Château de Meursault – he told me that after the frost and some further challenges from mildew and oïdium, he was anticipating yields of about 5 hl/ha in his Meursault-Perrières. Lastly, Antoine Olivier of that domaine in Santenay told me that he won’t be waiting too long – he’ll probably start on the 18th of September.
My photographic tour of vines in the Côte de Nuits yesterday and the southern Côte de Beaune today, show that for the first time since 2016, triage will be an integral part of the harvest 2021. Yields in reds are all over the place – some vines with nothing and others with plenty of clusters – my very first image taken in Marsannay even shows some green harvesting – but this was on the lower slopes – on the higher and hillside slopes they have, on average, about 50% losses. Puligny was interesting as the edges of vineyards often showed plenty of fruit, but as you went deeper into the vines fewer and fewer bunches could be found – maybe some airflow at the edges disrupted the frost but not within the vineyard(?)
In Beaujolais the early chardonnay pickers may already be underway about the 11th and the early gamays from around the 13th – but the crus will largely mirror the timing of the reds of the Côte d’Or this year.