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

Friday, 15 April 2011

Squeaky bum time in Eastern Touraine

Aynard keeping all his fingers crossed!

Speaking to Aynard Clermont-Tonnerre (Clos du Porteau, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher: AC Touraine) this morning brought home the understandable worries the vignerons have over frost this year. "The vines started about two weeks ago," said Aynard. "Already the vines have two or three leaves. Last night the temperature dropped to minus one and it was minus 1.5 the night before. We are really on the limit and we have another three weeks of risk."
Hopefully history will not be repeated but 1991 when there was a very severe frost on the night of the 21st-22nd April that reduced the harvest by two thirds. Just as this year, the vines started very early due to the the warm, sunny conditions. The danger is warm sunny days followed by clear cool nights.
Fingers firmly crossed for the next three weeks. 


Jean said...

There always seem to be some meterological challenge for the wine-growers to tackle. Has there ever been a year when the weather was perfect?

Mark said...

Jim, the vines in Epeigne are very advanced and we're too worried about the danger of frost. Had a long chat with Bruno Curassier on the subject this afternoon. He was out in the vines at 6am on Wednesday morning because he was worried that the temperature had hit 0. At this temperature the problem time when most damage is done is between 6am and 8am particularly if it's sunny. The sun evaporates the moisture which causes the temperature to drop a further 1 - 2 degrees. Apparently in the "old days" they used to burn tyres to create a fog of black smoke that the sun couldn't penetrate. Understandably this practice is no longer used. Bruno did mention that there was a new product, approved in organic culture, which increases the sugar content of the young leaves. This makes them less likely to freeze, and is efficient up to about minus 3 or 4. Anyway fingers crossed. Luckily we have a good cloud cover at the moment so tomorrow shouldn't be a problem.

Jim's Loire said...

Jean. This is true but some years are more challenging than others, although perhaps 1989 was as close to perfect as you could wish.

Jim's Loire said...

Mark. Thanks. A heater and a large fan?

Mark said...

Light frost this morning in Eastern Touraine but only found a couple of burned leaves. Same predicted for tomorrow after which the morning temperatures are set to rise. No need for the heater/fan or the helicopter yet Jim. As for "perfect" years I think 2005 was not far off.

Jim's Loire said...

Hi Mark. Pleased to hear no serious damage and fingers crossed for tonight/Sunday morning.

Agree 2005 also pretty near perfect weather, although it is difficult to have the perfect weather for all the styles of wine made in the Loire.