Under a tropical sun

 Under a tropical sun.

While France was in lockdown in Spring 2020, the vines in Burgundy were full of life and required all our energy to coordinate work in the field under a bright blue sky where only birds could be seen flying.

The countryside was exceptionally beautiful and was rapidly changing through the effects of the hot conditions and a few sharp showers.

How was the 2020 vintage to turn out ? As the months passed by, still under bright sun and with insufficient rain - quite serious including some areas nearby – all the forecasts agreed on an early grape harvest and an excellent vintage.

The first grapes were picked on 12 August, just north of Macon in the southernmost part of Burgundy where the harvest is usually the earliest ; elsewhere, throughout Burgundy, the harvest was well underway by the end of August.

Because of the Covid 19 restrictions it was not always easy to recruit pickers ; moreover, there were numerous constraints : no meals together, individual water-bottles, snacks during breaks to be handed out by one person only, adapting the timetable, social distancing, pedal-operated cleansing gel dispenser, masks in enclosed areas, etc.

Aware of these special circumstances, everybody cooperated with good humour so that the harvest could be accomplished in the best possible conditions.

The sanitary conditions of the grapes were excellent and little or no sorting was necessary ; just prior to harvest time there was some slight rainfall in the southern part of Burgundy and in some others further North , which was particularly beneficial, as was light rain during the harvest which helped to ensure the right degree of sugar content.

The analyses on the first must samples showed good equilibrium with Ph, tartric acid, fruit and corresponding degrees all meeting our specifications.

2020 has reached our expectations and Burgundy can be proud of this vintage.

The yield varies according to the location and the amount of rainfall but we can be optimistic : on average, even though lower, the yield is satisfactory particularly for the white appellations while the effects of low rainfall were especially noticeable on the Pinot noir.

Nevertheless, a year like no other, 2020 will be remembered for its high gustatory qualities : » bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis » - a man’s heart is warmed by good wine (the book of Ecclesiastes chapter XL. 20).

Françoise de Lostende
Château de Vinzelles