2011’s growing season update

Just back in from visiting the vineyards, and I am pleased to report that everything is looking healthy and happy which in turn has given me a really good feeling about the upcoming harvest.

To be sure, we are a good sight early in not only the development but we are are also further along than what is considered the ‘norm’. Of note, Burgundy dodges these confines of rules norms, as we really have unique growing seasons here each year.
By the looks of things, if we were to
continue at a similar rate of growth, we would be harvesting at the end of August. We are about 3-4 weeks ahead of ‘schedule’ (still haven’t quite located one of these here yet). That said, hail, cool winds, wet weather, heat spikes, vegetative arrest and all types of others events could come into play and would certainly make a marked difference in the projected start date.

What we can say is that the vines are looking good and that flowering has started without hitch for the most part. I visit the vines which we source from around five times a week and I have looked into many other vineyards and I haven’t seen any issues in Chambolle, Nuits, Vosne, Pernand, or in Volnay.

I have been using my phone for the latest photos, so I apologize or the lower resolution and detail.






6 thoughts on “2011’s growing season update

  1. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for this. Pleased to read it for my obvious vendange reasons !

    Coincidentally, your blog notice email followed one into my Inbox today from Cyprien Arlaud – you guys are off the same page (unsurprisingly I guess !!). Cyprien, whilst advising he’ll update me July, has mooted a potential vendange start around 1st Sept, or maybe 27 August.

    I know you’d have preferred maybe later, and me too, but for this year my wife’s parents 50th wedding anniversary 23rd September has ‘put a spoke in the wheel’ of a later vendange for me – requiring my presence then in the UK or else !!!

    Christine Dubreuil in Pernand gave me a ‘schedule’ of harvest start and length dates for Dubreuil-Fontaine which goes back to 1968. I’ll put the full list on Bill N’s burgundy-report forum today but interestingly there’s only been 2 vendanges for D-F with August start dates in the period – 2003 & 2007. Couple on 8th Sept – 1976 & 2009. Global warming maybe….. ?

    Just going to look back to your Morey ‘Chaffots’ pics.

    Hope to see you in September, demands on our time permitting ?

    Best wishes.

    Mark (Gough)

  2. Hey Mark
    thanks for the comments! Whilst it is rather early, things are shaping up that you will indeed make harvest this year and still be in good standing for the anniversary. Clearly, you jinxed me. 🙂
    And that is interesting about D-F. Global warming? Possibly, though in 1420 they started August 16th and in 1422 they started on August 19th. In 1421, September 13th….1473 August 20th, 1536 was August 29th, 1706 on August 28th…alright, alright, this is a little while ago. I’ll give you that. But, it did happen. I can see around 3-6 years each century since the 15th Century which is how far back Lavalle shows harvest dates fwiw 😉

    I can put up some more Morey photos. It is such a pretty place.

  3. You are getting full use of the Lavalle book aren’t you 😉

    15th century ???? I give up – you are the master !!

    Morey – totally agree.

  4. I was just teasing (the data is real though). But it is important to put these things into context, right. 😉

    Looking forward to seeing you out here during harvest, Mark. I’m sure we will open some Morey together


  5. No worries, on the teasing – made me smile – we all may as well give up without a sense of humour eh ?

    Impressive data though which I knew was real as coincidentally my friend, Chris Davey, MD of London wine merchants (and Burg specialists), OW Loeb & Co Ltd, made reference in his intro to his Burg 07 offer to the last time a harvest was circa mid August was 15th century. I gather 100 days after flowering in 2007 had a target harvest date circa mid August but horrible weather pushed things back to 115-120 days ? I missed 2007 stupidly – putting my day job first !

    Be great to see you at harvest time when we both might have a mo. Know you have made super progress since I saw you last. Need to make sure I have no post vendange paulee hangover this time 🙂

    I’d love to try some Chaffots if you can spare a drop (I’m no GC ‘trophy’ drinker). Am still mad at myself for being too dilatory at not getting on your client list & missing the 09’s. I’ll have to grovel to Mr Arnold for 2010 big style & more than usual 😉


  6. Ray,

    Meant to ask above. Have you met Cyprien, Romain or Herve Arlaud ? Maybe you could come over one evening when we eat if you haven’t met ? They are all 3 great guys. Herve is an absolutely great bloke – right up there as one of my all time favourite Burgundians. Superb in the vines at vendange.

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