Burgundy vines ‘two weeks ahead’

Burgundy’s growing season is already some two weeks ahead of itself due to a warm start to spring, prompting fears of frost damage.

The 15th century setting of the annual Hospices de BeauneAfter several vintages assailed by frost and hail and other problems, many producers in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or are hoping for a more bountiful crop this year.

However, compared to last year’s cold and slow start to the year, 2014 has seen a lot of sunshine and high temperatures, bringing the vines cycle forward.

The fear now is that a late frost between now and May could kill some of the slowly emerging buds and leading to a reduced crop once again.

“We need a big harvest this year. We need to replenish our stocks,” Emmanuel Guiroy, export manager of Pascal Bouchard in Chablis told the drinks business.

Anne Leroy-Baroin, marketing and communication manager for Bouchard Père et Fils, told db, “in the last three years we’ve lost, effectively, a whole harvest.

“We’re confronted with a big problem but there’s always a risk,” she concluded stoically.

Most producers, while confessing themselves a little “concerned” by this state of affairs, are aware of the dangers and what needs to be done, Nathalie Geoffroy, co-owner of Domaine Alain Geoffroy, saying: “We just need to be vigilant”.

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