Wacky Weather This Spring!
The weather this year has provoked much discussion in wine producing areas all over France, from early flowering worries to talk of drought, white grape shortfalls and a very early harvest.
In the Languedoc at the beginning of April the vines were about 3 weeks in advance following a period of significant rain (we received 200mls – one third of annual rainfall) and then unseasonably high temperatures. Vine development is now more like 10-15 days in advance as the temperature then returned to normal levels for the time of year, thus slowing the growth.
The knock-on effect of this for producers in general is bringing forward the treatment programme in line with vine development. The biological cycle of parasites follows the weather patterns so producers need to be vigilant. They also need to have their weed control programme firmly in place as naturally the weeds are also thriving!
At Sainte Rose the weather so far has not caused any problems as we are always vigilant! The vines are healthy and if they continue this development then we are set for a good vintage! There are however always surprises for which one can never be prepared, such as a localised hailstorm two weeks ago that affected some sections of our vineyards. Happily for us there was hardly any damage to the leaves and tiny bunches that are in early development. Others were not so lucky, a reminder that the one thing that cannot be controlled is the weather!