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harvesting – but will that be in september or august?

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 Oïdium today in the Côte de Nuits…

The harvest date: Some people are mentioning the 5th of September as a potential harvesting date, which is entirely possible, but as of today, it’s still too early say whether the 5th of September will be the start date, or the finishing date!

We seem to have the potential for a record early vintage, or just a modestly early vintage – though there’s still time for even that to change.

The weather has been so dry that:

  1. The vineyards look resplendent…
  2. There is no rot to be found anywhere….
  3. But it’s becoming very stressful for the young vines – those suffering the most having yellow leaves nearest the ground, it’s really time that they were allowed to drink
  4. The humid conditions of 2014 allowed fruit flies to multiply late into the season – so-far it looks like that won’t be the case for suzuki and friends in 2015. Fingers crossed!
  5. The dry heat hasn’t stopped the oïdium though. Usually the pinot noir is more robust than the chardonnay to this problem, but not so in 2015, indeed, this year, the problem is currently most prevalent in the Côte de Nuits, mainly in the Nuits to Morey vines. Right now, this is the single-most important issue for most vigneron(ne)s in that area.

Of-course it’s been a hot year so-far, but as veraison (except a few outliners) is hardly underway, the weather has not yet decided if this will be a cool vintage or an année solaire – cooler weather and maybe storms are forecast for the weekend, but afterwards more hot weather is indicated. Any meaningful rain will be welcomed with open arms, particularly in the Beaujolais and Mâconnais where they didn’t get the same soaking in early and mid June as the Côte d’Or. But, a little welcome rain combined with the hot, but not too hot weather, could see the first chardonnay already being picked by 25th August!

Oïdium excepted, the vintage still looks on course for a good one. The potential yields, despite great flowering conditions, seem good, but not on the high level of 2009. Those vines heavily hailed in the last years, not surprisingly, have a poorer fruit-set, particularly the older vines. Many growers in the Pommard to Beaune axis are talking of possibly 20hl/ha – of-course if it rains a lot, then the grapes will expand and add weight (yield). But honestly, many of those growers will happily accept 20hl/ha!

Note: There are some roasted looking grapes to be seen (there was a photo in my diary yesterday) but look more closely, and they seem not to be the result of sun-burn, rather the result of chemical (sulfur) treatments in the heat of the day, rather than in early morning or late evening. Heat, direct sun and sulfur powder is a bad combination!

2 responses to “harvesting – but will that be in september or august?”

  1. LESTIMÉ CAROLINE (@LEBONVINBLANC)

    The developpement of Oïdium is due to this phenomenum : At night, the air cools down and it is mixed with hot air that was heated during the day, and they create morning dew which contributes to its dissemination

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