Unprecedented - vines bloom exceptionally early across France

Wednesday May 20 2020 by Vitisphere

 Time for excitement. On social media, winegrowers have put aside the stress caused by mildew and the inaccessibility of many vineyards to share their best shots of vines in bloom. Time for excitement. On social media, winegrowers have put aside the stress caused by mildew and the inaccessibility of many vineyards to share their best shots of vines in bloom. - Photo credit : Pixabay

Several weeks ahead of schedule, winegrowers have been witnessing the start of flowering in vineyards across France. In the Entre-Deux-Mers region, Joël Ortiz saw the first canes sprout flowers 3 weeks ago, a month ahead of 2019. “Flowering is now underway on most Sauvignon and Merlot vines in Bordeaux”, said the viticulture advisor at the chamber of agriculture. At the same time, in Cognac early plots of Chardonnay were also starting to flower.

Chardonnay also started the ball rolling a fortnight ago in the Pyrénées-Orientales area of southern France. The earliest plots are now at the fruit set stage. “Then, last week, flowering began along the Hérault coastline”, said Jacques Rousseau from the Co-operative Wine Institute (ICV). “Budburst on the Carignan and Grenache occurred around March 10, so we have kept a 5 to 9 day lead over 2019”, he explained. Provence and the Rhone Valley are in the same situation.

Flowering is even in process in northern wine regions, including Alsace. In Burgundy, the phenomenon is unprecedented – the first flowers were seen in the first week of May in the earliest plots. Champagne has got off to a similar start with the 2020 growing season over 2 weeks ahead of the ten-year average.

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