As soon as the summer holidays are over we will begin planning our annual autumn visit to Burgundy, to taste the highly promising 2022 vintage from cask. In the meantime, here is a summary of the growing season.
After a mild, dry winter, the first green shoots emerged in April, just in time to meet a burst of cold air from the north, bringing threat of frost from 3-11 April. Happily, at this stage in their development, the buds are covered in fine cotton-like hairs, protecting them the worst of the frosts.
Spring-like weather arrived in mid-April, resulting in rapid vegetative growth and the first flowers just a month later. Flowering was two weeks earlier than usual. Budburst was followed by exceptionally warm weather. Rain came at just the right time before fruit set and the berries developed in hot, sunny weather. Thunderstorms from 21-25 June, brought more much-needed water, although a few hailstorms did cause damage in some areas.
After such a propitious start, an excellent harvest seemed likely, but a series of heatwaves and no rain threatened to change the course of the vintage. In contrast to 2021, there was no threat of mildew or any other maladies of the vine, but the lack of water became increasingly critical. In mid-August, chardonnay vines in areas went into physiological shutdown, closing up the stomata in their leaves to conserve water. The berries shrivelled to a very small size. Vines in shallow or sandy soils suffered the worst. Acidity levels were a concern, but it became clear after the vintage that the total acidity in each berry had been preserved as the water content fell, resulting in a final pH not too far off an average year. Rain came in late August, rehydrating the vines and setting the scene for an excellent harvest.
Picking for the Chardonnay vines on the Côte de Beaune started from 20 August, with the rest of the region following on behind. The last grapes were gathered on the Côte de Nuits, the Hautes Côtes, and in the Chablis region during the third week in September, an unusually long, slow harvest. Some areas ripened at a different rate to others, but this was also due to human decisions. The grapes were in excellent health and we are hopeful of a great year for both reds and whites.
For an idea of the domaines and wines we offer, you can view our Burgundy 2021 En Primeur offers here.
Bourgogne weather information courtesy of the BIVB.