“Fine flowering” cause for hope in Bourgogne

News from the BIVB – 20 June 2017

No two years are the same in the Bourgogne winegrowing region. After fast flowering, which was over by mid-June, even in those areas that tend to tardiness, any fears about springtime frosts were soon a “distant memory” according to a press release from the Bourgogne Wine Council today.

Now hopes are high for a fabulous harvest. Even the Chablis region, which suffered the effects of frost at the end of April, is in a much better place than it was at this time in 2016.

Flowering is finished across the Bourgogne region, with only a few days required for the vines to move from first flowers to producing fruit. With favorable weather conditions, sunshine and heat alternating with short spring showers, the vines were left to follow their growth cycle at a good pace, without hindrance.

On average, flowering reached mid-point by the first week in June.

On the Côte de Beaune, flowering started on 31 May for the Chardonnay and 1 June for the Pinot Noir, soon followed by all other regions. The further north the vines, the earlier they flowered, compared to the average for the period 1994-2016.

In the Mâconnais, flowering mid-point was reached between 3-5 days earlier, while in the Grand Auxerrois and Chablis, it was eight days.

The 2017 vintage is therefore gradually emerging as an early one.

It is ranked among the top three earliest years on the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, similar to the 2009 vintage.

The nascent grapes are already between 3-5mm across and the bunches should be closed by early July if the weather continues to be fine.

With optimum weather conditions keeping the grapes healthy, the Bourgogne winegrowing region is thus heading for a lovely harvest.

In Chablis, things are more mixed. Although globally, things are looking promising, there are a few areas where the grapes are lacking, mainly in the Petit Chablis appellation, and on a few plots of Chablis. But despite the reigning optimism, it is preferable to be prudent until harvesting is complete, with picking predicted to start in early September.

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