17 August, 2001

Grapes change colour

Everything looks nice in Losy-en-Brie.

An August never measured colder has replaced three weeks of heatwave. Last Sunday the lowest average temperature ever for an August 13th was measured. 13 degrees Celsius, approximately 10 degrees lower than ordinary for this time of the year. Still the grapes have seen the sun enough to have started changing colour, and the weather forecast service has talked about temperatures on the rise again.

The vine is up for the last part before the grapeharvest: Maturing the grapes. Even they have not yet grown to their full size. Water however is still crucial to secure further growth. And rain we have most certainly had.

The heaven opened all flood gates the major part of Sunday, and here on the northern slopes of the Montagne de Reims it orchestrated rain all day of dimensions that must have come close to those of the big flood. 55 millimetres of rain fell during a extremely grey and dull and wet day. In our area south of Vertus there was 10-20 millimeters less, and we could see as we drove through the Côte des Blancs - between Louvois and Vertus - the other day that the ditches were hardly carrying any rain at all. The differences are rather big between the different geographical areas even the distances are not that long.

Water for the vine
In the wake of the heatwave the winegrowers pledged for water. At some point the grapes will need water to continue their growth. The water certainly has arrived now, for two weeks we have not seen much but rain, and no days have been worse than last Sunday. But if one effect on the side will be big grapes is still too early to say.

Even the disease botrytis so far has not shown up, it does not mean that we have no disease. The Esca is still around.

Tuesday - bankholiday - Alain passed by Loisy-en-Brie to check the condition of the vines. After days of rain there has been some dry days, which normally mounts the risk of disease.

So far everything seems to be fine... but as he says, you do not want to see any botroytis, mildew or whatever at all so you rather spray with chemical as soon as the rain stops. And we do see several who are out with their tractors. But not in our vines, because the guy who deals with that is on holidays all August.

Chardonnay-grapes at Loisy-en-Brie, August 15th 2006.

Meunier-grapes at Loisy-en-Brie, August 15th 2006.

The grapes are now maturing. The Meunier has begun to chance colour from all green into bluish. Of course they still need a lot of sun or at least elevated temperatures before they will be ready.

If the grapeharvest is likely to start on September 11th is still too early to confirm. We do not expect to know yet anyway. It is normal only to know the excact date two weeks before.

På dansk

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