01 April, 2002

First leave on its way

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Chardonnay-bud, April 1st in Loisy-en-Brie.

The first leaves of the year are just about to unfold in the plot of Chardonnay-vines of my mother-in-law in the village of Loisy-en-Brie in the far end of the Côte des Blancs in Champagne.

So incredibly tender, so incredibly slender, so brittle and bright was one of the buds on this very sunny sunday in sixteen degrees Celsius. No April's Fool... it is a question of only time now, before the first leave will have fully unfolded, and the growth of the vine be fully visible once again.

Technically a plot is regarded as unfolded, when half of the plants have their first leaf out. This puts the different timing when it comes to the development of the three different varieties of vines in focus once again.

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Meunier-bud with the same exposure, April 1st in Loisy-en-Brie.

Red grapes develops later
Our Meunier-vines show no visible signs of awakening, as I two days ago checked some Pinot Noir-vines in the upper plots of Verzy they did not seem very developped either. However, Verzy has a northern exposure whereas Loisy-en-Brie is turned south.

A few warm days can change everything. So we may very well see fast changes next week. It will be exciting to know the date of the first leaves here in Verzy. Last year, the same vines were out only in the last third of April: The green point is pink.

Differences are normal anyway. Just check this table that contains the development of the last 10 years with the earliest and the latest date for burst, flowering and grape harvest:
ChardonnayPinot NoirMeunier
This year with all its talking about warmer winter than ever, global warming, Al Gore and the climate of Montpellier in Champagne in 50 years, it actually is rather interesting to compare a thing as concrete as a date.

So far we keep completely cool. Alain continues the work with the repairs of broken wires and change rusty iron posts. The less developped the plants, the bigger the chance not to destroy the fragile buds. He is moving towards the end of it now though.

På dansk

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