Posted by Jeremy Seysses
Right. It's decided. We will begin picking on Saturday. Another two days and we are throwing ourselves into it, a decision that was a long time coming. But first, let me give you a quick summary of the story so far.
The season here in Burgundy's Côte d'Or has not been an extreme or unusual one. The flowering began normally, but perhaps dragged on a little more than usual, over a period of three weeks. This led to some coulure (a condition where some berries don't set and drop off not long after flowering) and millerandage (when berries in a bunch are uneven in size, some small and some large). In the end, both will be a blessing and no doubt one of the elements that will drive quality.
The first part of the summer was warm, with occasional rains, which intensified during the month of August. We had very significant pressure from both mildew and oïdium, and keeping the canopy and the grapes healthy required very careful, attentive work in the vineyards. Our vineyard manager, Lilian Robin, and his team made themselves very available during those critical moments, and the vineyards are looking surprisingly good. A few judicious decisions such as pulling leaves on the north side of the rows allowed for more airflow, the best prophylactic defense against fungi, while not seriously hindering the important photosynthetic activity of the south-facing leaves.
Nonetheless, the damp month of August and first half of September have taken a toll. I am not yet convinced that we have lost too much in quality, but post-sorting, quantities should be significantly down. More in a few days on that front.
During the night of Sept. 13, the wind started coming from the north and has been with us since. The northern wind has brought dryness, sunshine and cool temperatures, halting the botrytis in its tracks. The sugars have gone up since, as much through concentration as through photosynthesis.
|Jeremy Seysses, brother Alec, and vineyard manager Lilian Robin pass through the vineyard to check ripeness and decide when to pick.||
Bruce Sanderson — New York — September 29, 2008 8:40am ET
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