Languedoc vines are starting to emerge from their slumber

Thursday January 23 2020 by Vitisphere

A Pinot Noir bud swelling in José Garcia's vineyard in Tourouzelle.A Pinot Noir bud swelling in José Garcia's vineyard in Tourouzelle.

Weeping vines and buds starting to swell were the first signs of an early start to the growth cycle that emerged in the vineyards of Languedoc at the beginning of January. Morgan Vieu, a winegrower in Bessan, was surprised to see his Chardonnay vines weeping after pruning: “It's the first time I've seen this. This rise in sap is not surprising because the temperatures are very mild for the season. The risk is a frosty spell later in the season”. José Garcia, a winegrower in Tourouzelle, Aude, is worried: “Nature is starting to wake up. The ash trees are already in leaf, which is a sign that this year is exceptionally early. Usually, they are not green until mid-February. On some early grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, the buds are starting to swell. You can feel the vine waking up. If a cold spell occurs, the process will be slowed down but the vine will not become dormant again. The risk of frost is heightened as we can have frost until May 10,” he points out.

Leaves emerged in 2017

Jacques Rousseau at ICV put this year into perspective: “In some well-exposed areas, we are beginning to see buds swelling. Over the past few years, it has not been rare to see this phenomenon occur. For the past 5 to 6 years, the signs of early growth have been quite frequent. In 2017, we even saw a few leaves emerge at the beginning of January”.






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