21 June 2021
Words of Rémi Vincent – Vineyard manager, oenologist
2021… A roller coaster in Beaujolais and Mâconnais !
A nice winter with a very dry and cold start of the year, but followed by several cold then warm episodes (record temperature February 25th with 23.9°C in the shade!), along with good rainfall from end of January to February 11th. However, the weather isn’t wet enough to compensate the great lack of water from 2020.
From February 11th to end of April, very little rainfall, cool temperatures and a new temperature record March 31st with 27.4°C in the shade. The soil is alarmingly dry, even in depth, and the hot spell in March causes a rather early bud break during the first week of April. The following days have disastrous consequences as temperature drops April 5th. Extreme morning frost during 4 terrible days and -8.1°C April 8th cause direct damages (up to 85 % bud loss, mainly in the Chardonnay area) and indirect damages which are visible today on all grape varieties with inflorescences growing into tendrils, reducing yield potential even more.
Finally, concerns of drought earlier this year have vanished. The combination of heavy rainfall in May – 150 mm, double the usual amount – and cool temperatures leads us to believe harvesting will take place in September.
Although these good rainfalls make it difficult to access and work the plots, they are necessary to replenish water reserves and will allow for vegetation rebound once the warm weather arrives. Never forget, water is life!