2016: Do we have a good or a great vintage?

2016: Do we have a good or a great vintage?

And why?

2016 combines the key criteria required for a great vintage:

– Uniform flowering and no humidity

– Significant lack of water in July-August

– A lot of sunshine in summer

– In September-October night-time temperatures were cool and mild, while daytime temperatures were more than 20°C (30-40°F) higher.

– No risk of disease at harvest time

And what else?

The first half of 2016 was very rainy with 720 mm of rainfall and a high risk of mildew. The lack of rain in July-August broke all records dating back to 1959.

To keep the vines disease-free and manage hydric stress, tillage turned out to be essential. The soil needed to allow water to penetrate easily and the vines’ root systems had to go very deep. At the end of October, our vines are still very leafy and are taking on autumn colours, which is a good sign that we had the situation under control.

In a few weeks, we will be able to answer the question as to whether 2016 is good or great.

Jean-Pierre Marie

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