Unbelievable, beyond imagination, improbable and even unthinkable - a few words which best describe for us winegrowers the year 2021 : in fact, who would have thought at the beginning of the year that we were to experience such climatic conditions which were to severely affect the vine’s growth cycle through to the harvest ?
All started end March/early April with excessively hot conditions – as high as 27°C - and an explosion of vegetation growth and consequently early budding on the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines most exposed ; this was followed by forecasts warning of the risk of nightime frost, unthinkable at the time but confirmed during the nights of 6 and 8 April and the return of wintery conditions with some snow and temperatures of minus 7/8°C.
As a result and in spite of all the measures taken to counter the effects of these harsh winter conditions, there was serious frost damage to the buds and furthermore, the cold spell lasted until the end of April.
The damage was assessed as very high and the vine recovered with a lot of difficulty, particularly as the month of May was cool with little sunshine.
In June, the contrast was spectacular with hot and sunny weather and erratic growth of the vine : by mid-June the vine had bloomed too fast and too early causing shatter and thus additional risks of loss in yield.
Field work conditions were unpleasant through heat, rain , the humid atmosphere and the excessive vegetation growth rate.
Rainfall in June and July was more or less high depending on the area with risks of mildew and oidium and special care had to be taken to keep the vine healthy including precise planning for phytosanitary action.
The weather in August was mainly dry ; the nights were cool for the season with risks of oidium particularly as the veraison development stage was late and did not start to show until the tenth day of the month but was in fact completed during the end of the month with the good seasonal weather conditions.
The degree of maturity varied considerably depending on how much the vines were hit by frost so it was necessary to monitor regularly the development and the sanitary condition of the grapes in order to fix the harvesting dates.
Harvesting started in Burgundy around 8 September for the Crémant wines and approx. 17/20 September for still wines ; great care had to be taken when sorting, particularly for the red wine grapes to ensure impeccable quality wines, fresh, fruity and elegant.
The 2021 vintage white wines can be qualified by their nature as well balanced with good intensity and aromatic potential.