Burgundy welcomes ‘return to normal’

Burgundy’s wine bureau has hailed the 2014 vintage as “very promising indeed”, although it warned that “good yields” would not be enough to replenish stocks in the region.

BurgundyAlthough final volumes will not be confirmed until early next year, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) reported that “initial estimates mark a return to normal for many producers”.

Following an early start to the growing season which saw some vineyards two weeks ahead of normal, expectations were tempered by severe but localised hailstorms at the end of June. The most severe damage was felt in the Côte de Beaune, especially Santenay, Volnay, Pommard and Meursault.

Cool summer conditions slowed grape maturation until the end of August, when warm, sunny weather returned to give a final boost to ripeness and good conditions for the harvest in mid-September.

Declaring 2014 “an excellent year for white wines”, the BIVB summed up: “They clear-cut, precise structure promises good keeping potential.” For reds, the organization pointed to “wonderfully sophisticated” wines “hinting at all the qualities of great red Bourgogne wines.”

As global demand for sparkling wine grows, there were also positive reports for Crémant de Bourgogne in terms of both quality and quantity. According to the BIVB, the grapes destined for this sparkling style showed “relatively high levels of acidity” and “some good yields”, especially for Aligoté.

This positive report comes at a time when many in the UK trade are predicting particular growth potential for French sparkling wine styles, despite the fact that much of the recent growth in this category has been driven by Prosecco.

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