- October 2020 -
With low recorded rainfall and pleasant temperatures, the season 2020 has passed without major issues. At the end of July unfortunately, two very warm days (more than 40°C) made significant damages in Chablis, roasting the grains. In Rully, the Chardonnay resisted rather well while the Pinot suffered a lot from the drought with problems of withered berries. Regarding the quantity, we went from a good (even very good) harvest to an average one.
Picking on the Clos du Chapitre - Rully
We finally had an incredibly early harvest in Rully where we have started on August 24th to finish on the 28th. In Chablis, we have picked from September 1st to 8th. There is a more significant gap than usual between the two areas. In Chablis, the rain on the 3rd week of August has helped to rebalance the situation and has delayed a bit the maturity date.
Just like last year, the fermentation has started very quickly and was rather tumultuous on some cuvée… The sugars are now finished on almost all the wines and the ageing is going on.
Qualitatively, the vintage 2020 has a style very closed to 2019, an excellent balance acidity/alcohol, a very good texture and certainly a great potential for ageing.
On the reds, the outstanding maturity gives a concentration a bit higher than usual while remaining on a good balance.
- 20th of March 2020 -
The beautiful weather of the last few days obviously benefits the vines already ahead of the vegetative cycle.
The buds are growing and, on some plots, the leaves are already visible (but not spread yet).
Pruning is finished except on few frost parcels where we prune in two stages.
The first pruning is done in winter and the finish, called "peeling", generally comes in April.
This two-stage work delays the budburst by 8 to 10 days for the buds that will give the vegetation and the fruits of the year.
Left picture: before the 2nd part of pruning. Right picture: pruning finished
On the vine, the buds located at the end of the shoots are always growing first. These will be eliminated with the second part of the pruning while the useful buds won't be that early.
The difficult point is to find the right moment for the "peeling": too early and the vine will catch up the delay; it is useless. Too late and that would take too much energy from the vine.
Last point, when we are making this late second pruning, the vine very often "cries" (you have sap dripping out from the pruning cut) and that can increase the spring frost damages.
So we have to check carefully the weather forecast before doing this second pruning, otherwise the cure would be worse than the disease.
All the other works on the vineyard are now focused on the soils.
On the old vines, we bring a 100% vegetal compost to stimulate the soils life and so, their structure.
On all the parcels, we are ploughing to destroy the vegetative cover which was formed during winter.
It takes a lot of time: the tractor is at 2-2.5 km/h, the rythm of a very quiet sunday walker (after the meal!). Even so, it is out of the question to plan a little nap; you need to stay focussed as the wheels are very closed to the vines. The present conditions are just perfect: load-bearing soils but not too dry so the ploughing makes a good crumble; the ploughed weeds will dry...
Left picture: work on process - Right picture: before/after ploughing
Next week, we will spray the 500P, horn manure, to stimulate the soils' life. Here also, it will be done earlier than usual as the vegetative cycle is in advance. "Dynamised" in warm water (left picture), then it is sprayed with a tractor which is specifically dedicated to biodynamie (center and right pictures). (these pictures were taken last year)
In summary, so far so good ... at least in the vineyard. But the earliness of the season remains a matter of concern when the period of spring frosts approaches. At the same time, a farmer is rarely peaceful and carefree!
- 2nd of October 2019 -
In Rully we have harvested from September 11 to 15 and in Chablis from September 12 to 19.
Fast harvests on both cases in a magnificent sunshine with lower volumes compared to 2018.
The highlight in 2019 remains the strong drought that has of course lead to a more or less important fall of the yields.
In the end, the volumes are among a weak but correct average.
The quality is beautiful: a perfect sanitary state; a great pourcentage of alcohol with also a great level of acidity which gives an excellent balance for the whites as for the reds.
After a quick start, the alcoholic fermentation have calmed down and are going on regularly.
They are finishing or still following regarding the different tanks or barrels. And then will begin the long time of ageing.
On the press side, various articles during summer and fall:
a double page for Rully on Le Point, a national weekly news magazine; several wines on the Guide Hachette 2020; and also the RVF, Bourgogne Aujourd'hui, the Daily Telegraph...
- 19th of April 2019 -
After a first alert on the night of 4-5 April, we went through 4 difficult nights from April 11 till April 15. The night of saturday/sunday was particularly cold with negative temperatures very early on the night on big areas. We have used the protection by spraying on the 4 nights and it was efficient. On other areas we have used candles (big ones!) only during the last 2 nights.
We can see some damaged buds but, at the moment, the visible damages are not too important in Chablis as in Rully. The moment of truth will arrive with the flowering: at this moment you can see if the flowers are turning into grapes as expected or not (meaning if they have been damaged by the frost or not).
For the 10 next days, the predicted temperatures are mild but we have to wait until mid May to be totally frost-safe.
During this week, thanks to the very good weather we have made a horsetail spraying; it is a prevention against mildiew.
- 12th of october 2018 -
After a perturbed beginning of the season till mid-June, the nice weather finally came back, hot and dry, during the whole summer.
It was very positive as we had no problems with mildiew and oïdium (unlike the south of France much more wet this year).
But, the risk on a very dry year is to have a very low juice yield such as 2017 or 2003.
Finally this 2018 harvest has been fantastic in every way.
An outstanding quality with relatively soft wines but with good acidities on our parcels.
A perfect sanitary state so a minimal sorting.
And an unexpected quantity, with good yields but that remain reasonnable on our perspective to reach a good quality.
We have begun the harvest on Sept 3rd in Rully and Sept 5th in Chablis for respective durations of 6 and 10 days. On Sept 15th everything was in.
The alcoholic fermentations started very quickly and were rather turbulent probably because of a great yeast population on the skins (no rain) and the summer temperatures.
The fermentations are almost all achieved now and the vinification is going on.
- 12th of July 2018 -
This year, the weather is more or less clement even if we have had big thundery periods.
Some hail has touched a part of our vines with damages estimated around 10% for the moment. The strong heat has also caused here and there burst damages on the grapes exposed to the evening sun.
But, compared to the 2 previous years, we could say that, for the moment, things are not that bad...(and we keep our fingers crossed of course!)
The season is also very early compared to the average so the harvests could begin at the end of August, beginning of September.
- 14th of May 2018 -
The season has started a bit late but then, thanks to the very nice weather, the vine has grown very regularly. Now we are even a bit early if we compare to the average. We are beginning to tye up on the earliest places (the cote de lechet with its stony soil here above). During the last 3 days, the weather has not been so great so the growth slows down.
The hard period of spring frost is now behind us so... until now, everything is fine!
But, as would say an experimented vinegrower, "never sell the bottles before you have the grapes inside the cellar"... To be continued!