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Home > News > Coverages > News from the vineyards : a capricious weather ...
29 Jun 2013

News from the vineyards : a capricious weather ...

fleur de vigne 2

The weather was very capricious at the start of the growing season and showers the past couple of months have made work in the vineyard difficult. 

Complicated weather patterns...

Let us compare the 2013 growing season with 2012. For a start, spring of this year was colder, with record rainfall: two and a half times more than in 2012 (and twice as many days with rain).

vignes au printemps 2

This situation applied by and large to vineyards in all appellations, although there were, of course, slight variations depending on the characteristics of each terroir. The poor weather conditions delayed vine growth.

Bud break began on about the 5th of April, as compared to the 25th of March in a so-called normal year. There was also a 2 to 3-week delay (depending on the location) with vine growth and flowering. While 2012 was a somewhat complex year for vineyard management, it looks as though 2013 will be even more challenging. We had to take things as they came, and do our best to anticipate. Decisions needed to be made quickly and carried out as soon as possible. Rain caused major difficulties, especially with ploughing. Below-average temperatures and sunshine upset vine development. Many shoots and buds needed to be removed. The vines seem confused and some bunches were formed into odd shapes.

Despite these less-than-ideal conditions, our vineyard managers remain hopeful, keeping in mind the old saying, "août fait moût" ("August makes the wine").

Capricious weather nevertheless propitious to replanting...

bourgeon vigne

The past half year was very wet, but this in no way hindered replanting operations from mid-March to late April. On the contrary: we generally replace 8-10,000 vines a year, but replanted some 20,000 in 2013. There was no need to water the vines because the rain was conducive to good root penetration. Thanks to the humidity, the compact soil clung to the roots, which abhor a vacuum... Replanting was especially important in plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

   

Histograms summarizing the rainfall observations made on our various weather stations. (Period from January to May for the years 2012 and 2013)

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Sources: every part information above are derived from field observations, information provided by our meteorological stations (Demeter) and the METEOFRANCE site.