2017 has been a challenging one for French vineyards across all regions. Despite losing 3 hectares to late frost we can consider ourselves relatively lucky with the weather conditions so far this year.
We had heavier winter rainfalls than usual which has allowed our water supplies to be well replenished. Our lake in Auzines filled almost entirely from rainfall by April, a hugely fulfilling moment after 5 years of struggles with the French system to complete this project
These wetter conditions ensured homogenous budding and good development of the foliar surfaces, both of which are essential for our grapes to ripen to the full.
Early Spring was hotter than usual, and Languedoc was hit by major hailstorms. Soon after an unseasonably late frost devasted large swathes of the region. Only 3 hectares of our vines were hit, thanks mainly to the higher altitudes, Auzines for example remained unaffected as the frost hit lower vineyards in the valley of Lagrasse (cold air sinking)
Although it may still be too early to tell, 2017 is potentially a very good vintage: Why?
- With March and April being particularly hot this year, the vines budded 15 days early.
- Flowering happened in perfect weather conditions, assuring homogenous ripening.
- It’s worth noting that the yields of one year are defined by the previous year, mainly due to the climate. As 2016 was a dry year, the vine has naturally protected itself by producing less buds in 2017. Consequently, the yields in 2017 will be quite low, producing wines concentrated and full in flavour, most notably for the Syrah, our main red varietal.
- We estimate we are 10 days in advance which could mean the start of the harvest, particularly, the Chardonnay to start around the 16th August at Cazal Viel as opposed to the 26th August last year. At Les Auzines we also estimate being early compared to last year, with the start of the harvest beginning early September.
So there’s only a few weeks left until the start of the harvest!
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