Vintage 2018

beaune hail update

By billn on July 03, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018#vintage 2018

A jog through some sticky vineyards around Beaune; Grèves, Teurons, Reversées, Clos de la Mousse and Les Avaux. This low-slope, central part of Beaune – nearest the town centre where the hail was heavy – no damage – I could hardly find a single leaf with a hole in it, maybe just one cluster showing a hail impact in Les Avaux! Hopefully it plays out this way across all of Burgundy and beyond…

hail in beaune today…

By billn on July 03, 2018 #vintage 2018

It’s always better to wait a day or two for ‘quantification’ – for more sombre reflection, if needed, taking emotion out of the equation – but the hail didn’t look (or sound!) good in Beaune today.

I left Switzerland at 7am, and all the way to the French border, on the other side of the Jura, it was stormy with significant rain and occasion (tiny) hailstones. So it was a surprise to arrive in Beaune to 28°C and blue skies in the middle of the morning – the forecast isn’t great for the Côte d’Or this week, but all looked fine. Over lunch the sky darkened and we had some heavy rain. At 2pm it turned to hail – about 1cm sized projectiles – at least in the centre of Beaune – and that lasted for close to 5 minutes. It’s hard to believe that there won’t be damage, it’s only a question of the ‘spread.’ The storm rumbles away for 3 hours before the sun returns, but only with modest rain as accompaniment. Judging by the weather forecast the next days will also not be easy.

Today, at best, all the hail cannons managed, was to soften the blows to my roof!

too many grapes? – sunday’s walk between morey and gevrey…

By billn on June 25, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018#vintage 2018

The 2018 vintage: It’s certainly starting to look like some dropping of fruit will be required in places. I counted some vines with 16 bunches – that’s almost as much as the worst I saw in 2017 – 18 – and I’m sure I could have found vines with more if I’d been patient.

I remember Benjamin Leroux telling me last December that he doesn’t like to green harvest, it clearly being better to start with the right number of buds – but sometimes nature does its own thing – in 2017 he did his first green harvesting since 2002. It looks on the cards again, if not for him, certainly for some vignerons in parts of Morey…

Note my suffering on your behalf – the horseflies got me in Charmes – not very charming!

a short 2018 vintage weather update…

By billn on June 15, 2018 #vintage 2018

Hedging this morning in Beaune 1er Les Toussaints – very tidy!

There’s been lots of rain but plenty of warm days too, so the work in the vines is unrelenting as everything grows so fast – mainly spraying and currently ‘hedging’ i.e. giving the vines a tidying haircut.

The spraying is currently a priority because of the relative warmth and humidity – i.e. the rain. There is mildew in the vines but, so-far, it’s under control but everyone would like the rain to stop and a dry wind to blow. After a couple of weeks with virtually daily storms of thunder and lightning, it looks like next week will be warm and sunny – just what the doctor ordered.

Regarding the storms, there has been a very small amount of localised hail, but given the frequency of the storms it’s remarkable that there is practically no damage – is that down to luck or down to the anti-hail network? Nobody can say for sure, but there are 3 networks:

  • Chablis and Grand Auxerrois
  • Côtes de Beaune, de Nuits and Chalonnaise
  • Mâconnais and Beaujolais

In total there are 145 ‘generators’ (hail cannons) in Burgundy, and they have been use about 10 times up to the 11 of June. So, as long as there is no damage, the producers can pat themselves on the back as it was such a good investment!

quiet apprehension!

By billn on April 27, 2018 #travels in burgundy 2018#vintage 2018

I visited Chablis today – still 22°C but with a cooler wind. April almost brought a new record here – a daytime temperature of 31°C, but more impressive, one night of 20°C. But all change just now…

Yesterday evening into this morning brought 2°C, and both Monday and Tuesday nights to come are forecast at 0°C.

In the grand crus – Les Clos mainly – not only have some domaines already prepared candles – just in-case – others have made tents to protect their vines from the cold. There are two separate plots in Les Clos – both at the bottom of the hill (the candles likewise) with the same silver-grey tent material. Fingers crossed for next week!

First, this week’s trilogy:

Then a little Chablis from today:

the 2018 vintage so far…(!)

By billn on April 04, 2018 #vintage 2018

Thunder, lightening, heavy rain and even the occasional rainbow in Morey St.Denis this afternoon.

Well, it’s already April, and we have passed the the poisson d’avril so maybe it’s safe to ask about 2018…

I was with Charles Lachaux in the torrential rain this morning, so I put the question to him; ‘Given the cold, ice and snow of February and March, is 2018 a little behind the average growth-cycle today?’

Well, we have definitely seen plenty of rain so far this year, but I would rather say that we are neither early or late, I see a traditional, normal, vintage so far. With a normal summer we would be harvesting somewhere between mid and late-September. Of-course, with all this rain we are only going to need a few days of 20°C-plus and the vines will explode with growth…

Yep, the start of the year has, indeed, been been very wet:

Burgundy Report

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