Vintage 2020

rain, rain, (don’t) go away…

By billn on April 28, 2020 #vintage 2020

At last…

There has been a tiny amount of rain in Burgundy and Beaujolais in the last 50 days, but not everywhere – fortunately, there had been plenty since October. The ground has been parched and most domaines with new plantings of vines have had to return to give them water. This weekend, finally, it has rained – and quite stormily too. The forecast is largely wet for most of the following days, that will cheer the growers up – it has been hard work in the vines having to wear t-shirts and sunglasses for most of March and April 🙂

Let’s see how we continue, but for the moment the vines are very vigorous; in terms of their stage of growth, they are the most advanced recorded – a couple of days ahead of the 2007 vintage at the end of April – that’s 3 weeks in advance of where they were in 2019! I don’t have a comparison to 2003 or 1947!

Côte d'Or Rainfall
Source: Chambre d’Agriculture de Côte-d’Or, 27 April 2020

one year ago…

By billn on April 20, 2020 #vintage 2020

They say that a week is a long time in politics, but the weeks keep racking-up in Burgundy – the warm weeks that is!

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?

in the vines it’s not all blue-sky, sunshine and distancing…

By billn on April 09, 2020 #vintage 2020

There are also lots of bugs to be squished – you’re not eating them, so I’m sure it’s both biodynamic and vegan!

frostwatch 2020

By billn on April 02, 2020 #vintage 2020

I note that there are vigneron(ne)s in the Rhône that have serious frost problems this week. The temperatures have just been dipping below the ‘fire the candles up‘ and ‘start-up the wind machines‘ point in a few parts of the Côte d’Or today – more-so, seemingly than either Chablis or Beaujolais. Of course, it’s a little more pressing this week than last, as more leaves are starting to unfurl – the afternoon temperatures that are 20°C or more in the full sun are hardly helping. It’s largely the same scenario as the last few years – early bud-break, perfectly timed for the Spring frosts…

The third and fourth images in the instagram post of Véronique Drouhin are very impressive…

more on the frost…

By billn on March 26, 2020 #vintage 2020

There have been a couple of nights of frost in Chablis, with the deployment of water-sprays. Generally, all is well for the vines encased in the ice – but it’s less fun for the vines close to the sprays where the humidity is higher but it’s not wet enough to freeze around the buds – here there could be some losses.

Still far too early to say more than ‘there could be some losses.’

it’s that frosty time again…

By billn on March 24, 2020 #vintage 2020

Images abound of fat vine buds, even some first unfurling of leaves, plus – of course – like other recent vintages, the threat of frost.

Chablis seems to have avoided the low temperatures this week, Beaune (and environs) had some minus temperatures overnight with occasional plots (owners) lighting candles. So far nothing in Beaujolais, but there’s concern there for tomorrow. At least the weather has been dry, which means – probably – no damage until you reach -3°C.

The world outside of sports-stadia and hospitals continues…

Burgundy Report

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