Marked by frost and humidity, this year proved to be particularly difficult for the vines. It is nature that decides everything...
Exceptions are needed to confirm the rule: with late harvests, the 2021 vintage breaks the precocity that the vineyards have experienced in recent years. April's powerful frost came as a painful reminder of the forces of nature.
After a rather cold first part of winter, March turned out to be spring-like, even hot in the last week of the month. The buds appeared, the vegetation developed, and after these premature advancements, the vines then experienced three days of snow and even worse, three nights of severe frost, from April 6th to 8th. The effects are extreme, with losses of around 30% in some places all the way up to 80% of the harvest in Chevalier-Montrachet, for example.
April and May were then cool and rainy, which slowed down vegetative development and the month of June offered an alternation of stormy periods and heat. These erratic conditions culminated in a small heat wave from June 15th to 19th, followed by frequent thunderstorms the following week, including an episode of hail on the 21st in Solutré.
In summer, we experienced a gloomy and often rainy period in July. The pressure from mildew and powdery mildew was a constant this year, requiring expert intervention from our vineyard teams. It wasn't until the second part of August that we found the sun again, observing a significant rise in temperatures toward the end of the month. This weather pattern, which lasted through the beginning of September, allowed for the maturity of the grapes to catch up.
The return of the rain in mid-September (up to 65 mm in a single week) signaled the time for the harvest, which began on September 22nd. In comparison, we started on August 20th in 2020 ... It lasted eight days as usual, for a half harvest. In this complicated year, between frost and humidity, the maturity remained remarkable with degrees (12 ° 5 potential alcohol) offering promise for a most satisfying vintage.