French vines still ahead of the growth curve this year

Wednesday April 15 2020 by Vitisphere

 In the Loire Valley, Célia Brégeon from the Pays de Loire Chamber of Agriculture announced the vines were two to three weeks early, “which needs to be put into perspective because the cold weather forecast for the beginning of April will once again slow down growth”. In the Loire Valley, Célia Brégeon from the Pays de Loire Chamber of Agriculture announced the vines were two to three weeks early, “which needs to be put into perspective because the cold weather forecast for the beginning of April will once again slow down growth”.

In Languedoc, “On February 29, as I was pruning Grenache vines above Saint-Chinian, at an elevation of 300 metres, buds had burst on all the vines and you could see two or three leaves separating at the ends of the shoots. Today the Grenache is at the three to five leaf-stage in the early-ripening vineyards. We are a good two weeks ahead of last year”, reported Jacques Rousseau of the Co-operative Wine Institute (ICV).

In Provence, “although in late-ripening areas the vines are still at the woolly bud stage, elsewhere we are 15 days, even a month ahead in places, with vines mostly at the 2 to 3 leaf separated stage, some up to 5 or 6 leaves”, commented Julie Mazeau, from the Var Chamber of Agriculture.

In Beaujolais, growth is reported to be a week ahead of normal. “Stages range from woolly bud to the first leaf separating on the Chardonnay”, announced Nina Chignac from the Rhone Chamber of Agriculture, who expressed concern about the effect of frost on the young shoots: “We don't have the same resources as Burgundy to combat frost”.

In South-West France, “the good thing about the cold is that it slowed down the onslaught of snails”, pointed out Thierry Massol from the Tarn Chamber of Agriculture and Magdalena Girard in Cognac.

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