Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Weather and vine update plus a health scare

As is so often the case there have been considerable variations in the Loire weather depending upon the sector – meaning that some vignerons are happy, particularly in Anjou and the Pays Nantais, while others especially in the Cher are cursing what a year with 13 moons has thrown at them.

As a friend said yesterday – "Distances are SO big in the Loire!" Therefore, although it is tempting to generalise, it is dangerous.

Here is quick but not comprehensive round up:

Cher Valley
Conditions have been difficult in eastern Touraine with alternating fine weather and rain, so unfortunately a promising year for mildew. Furthermore there have been heavy but localized hail storms – one on the evening of 16th July and one last week on Friday 24th. The storm of the 16th produced some spectacular hailstones – the size of golf balls. See here.

There was some damage in Pouillé but probably more in Angé and then on the north side of the Cher between Monthou and Thesée. I understand that Jean-François Merieau (Vignobles des Bois Vaudons, Saint-Julien-de-Chédon) was amongst those hit. It was mainly his Gamay with some blocks suffering 80% damage with the overall damage estimated at around 20%. Fortunately the Sauvignon Blanc wasn't affected.

Thierry Delaunay

Thierry Delaunay (Domaine Joël Delaunay) reports:
Effectivement, il a grélé sur la commune de Pouillé le jeudi 16 juillet vers 20h 20h30. Il y avait beaucoup de vent aussi. Chez nous à la Tesnière, il est tombé quelques gros grélons gros comme des oeufs de pigeons ( j'en ai compté un dizaine, c'était à la fin de l'orage ). Donc pas de dégâts mais je me suis douté que l'on était en limite de l'orage de grêle et donc qu'il y avait surement des dégâts quelque part. J'ai pris ma voiture après manger vers 10h le soir pour aller voir mes parcelles les plus éloignées et ouf, rien quelques gros grélons aussi d'après des voisins qui discutaient dehors.

Mais apparement, le gros de la grêle n'était plus très loin. Effectivement un peu plus loin sur la commune de Pouillé vers Angé les dégâts étaient spectaculaires dans certaines parcelles de mes collégues. Comme en hiver!! L'orage de grêle était donc de Saint-Julien de Chédon jusqu'à Pouillé "Ouest" en passant par Angé. Il a traversé le Cher et a frappé entre Monthou et Thésée.

Vendredi dernier, il y a eu un nouvel orage avec une petite grêle très courte mais virulente. Nous avons eu des impactes sur certaines parcelles mais rien à voir avec l'orage du 16.

Voilà, vivement les vendanges ! Sans oublier un peu de vacances d'ici 15 jours !!

Didier Barrouillet

Didier Barrouillet (Clos Roche Blanche)
Mildew and black rot have been a problem this year with mildew on the grapes. Fortunately we didn't suffer much damage from the storm on 16th but we were more affected by last week's hail. Like 2007 and 2008 it has been a tough tiring year – due to the 13 moons?

Vincent Roussely

Vincent Roussely, Clos Roussely
(Vincent reports that his vines in Angé suffered 40% damage from the hail, while those in Saint-Georges weren't affected. He hopes that 2009 will see the end of the trio of three difficult years.)
'Les vignes situées sur la commune d'Angé ont malheureusement été touché à 40%. Celles de St Georges non rien, le millésime 2009, je l'espère terminera une trilogie assez difficile. En effet, la pression mildiou est, depuis le début de cette campagne, assez forte. Il faut rester également vigilant en regard de l'oidium puisque les nuits sont fraiches même en ce mois de juillet. '

The news from Anjou – at least from Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay and Brissac-Quincé – is very different as here there has been virtually no rain since early June.

Christophe Daviau

Christophe Daviau, Domaine de Bablut
The vines are looking superb and the grapes are very homogeneous – all about the same size. It is very dry here – a little rain would be good just 10-15 mm. This would help the grapes to ripen because if it stays dry like this there is a danger that the vines will shut down and the grapes will stop ripening. I expect the véraison (when the grapes begin to change colour) to start in about 15 days. Most of the grass has gone all yellow – as though we had used weedkiller. Not the case of course as Christophe is bio-dynamic.

It is still too early to tell but the harvest for the early ripening varieties will probably start around 15th September – a little bit earlier than last year.

Vincent and Catherine Ogereau

Vincent Ogereau, Domaine Ogereau
The vines are beautiful – our team of workers finished working on them yesterday before the summer holidays – deleafing and thinning out. We don't have any bunches touching each other – all are spaced out. The vines are very healthy as we have had no rain since early June – 40mm fell that month and much of this on Monday 8th June. There have been storms but they have all been to the north of Angers. It was important to thin out the Chenin crop as some of our parcels had too big a crop – not surprising as last year was a small vintage. The harvest will probably start around mid-September but we will have to see.

While we chatted Vincent revealed that he had had a brain tumour removed in May and is now recovering. Fortunately it wasn't malignant and Vincent is now making a good recovery and hopes to be fit for the harvest.

Luc Choblet (Jérôme's father)

Pays Nantais
Jérôme Choblet, Domaine des Herbauges
Another happy vigneron reporting that although mildew has been a problem this year it is under control, although everyone has had to work very hard in the vineyards. Recently there has been a little oidium in the Chardonnay but again this is under control. They are continuing to expect a normal sized harvest and to start picking around 10th-15th September depending on the weather.

No comments: