The hot and the cold of it!

With a couple of 1930s vintages thrown in for the hell of it, otherwise, from a collection of data-points from Dijon*, starting in 1973. Below, you can find a Top 30 in 6 different categories – 3 for the cold and 3 for the heat.

Of course, there is some modest interest in the colder records, but for myself, it is the warmer records that are more interesting as they offer an insight into the actual growing seasons of specific vintages. They would be even more interesting if I could source equivalent ‘growing season’ rainfall – but for the moment that’s not possible.

It’s a shame that we lack data for 1945, and even more so, 1947, but what’s striking is that the majority of the hottest days on record are still from 2003 – maybe 1947 would have offered some competition! The last three years – 2020-2018 are the three hottest vintages. All of the top 10 hottest vintages are post-2000 with 1994 being the first pre-2000 vintage in our list – in 12th position! Even 2014, which I consider being the last of the classic red vintages – ie not super-sweet – is the 6th hottest year in our list!

In the history of the Côte d’Or there have been instances of mini Ice-Ages, today we are clearly experiencing the opposite. Make of the numbers what you will…

Updated: April 2021 to include 2020 data

Cote dOr - hot and cold records
Updated 20-April 2021, to include data for 2020 – the new champion of heat.
NB: The average temperatures (both months and years) for cold are the average night-time temperatures. Likewise for the heat they are the average daytime temperatures

April Frosts?

Compiled by Dr. Serge Zaka (Dr. Zarge):

6-8 April 2021 – 98% of France affected with already 12 nights of frosts in the first 17 days of the month
21-22 April 1991 – 90% of France
Start April – 1975 – 90%
20-29 April 2017 – 85%
21-24 April 1997 – 80%
8-11 April 2003 – 75%
1-3 May 1945 – 70% (not April, and estimated! See below)
9 April 1977 – 70%
1-2 April 2020 – 65%
17 April 2012 – 65%
26-27 April 2016 – 60%
6-7 May 1957 – 50%
6 May 2019 – 50%
5-7 May 1979 – 50%
And years with lower intensities of Spring frost:
2013, 1973, 1968, 1961, 1960, 1955, 1953, 1938, 1935, 1906, 1897, 1879, 1874.

But sometimes there is snow in May too!

10cm of snow in paris - 1st may 1945How about snow in May? The 1945 vintage is well-known for the severity of its winter and the subsequent frosts that cut wine & general agriculture production – but we don’t have ‘volume’ figures for Burgundy. On the 1st of May 1945, with minus temperatures in many parts of France, nearly 10cm of snow was recorded in the centre of Paris! Doubly hard for those employed in ‘agriculture’ was that April 1945 was described as exceptionally warm – so there was much growth in the vineyards before this snow arrived. The older vignerons at that time compared 1945 to similar, almost total losses from May frosts, in both 1919 (03 May) and 1890 (10 May).

1n 1935, on the 18th of May – there was appreciable snow, again in Paris, almost 20 cm. This was described at the time as only the 4th occurrence of May-time snow in the capital in 40 years.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

Burgundy Report

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