08 May, 2016
Frozen is not just Disney.
What you see is frozen for real. Chardonnay-buds that were just developing, and very likely will not.
Some of them at least.
Last week we had five nights in a row with frost below minus 2 centigrade. Too much, rather too little for a young bud. The limit of destruction is minus two.
The plot of Crochettes in Soulières. Most frozen buds are to be found at the feet of the plants.
Consequently, it froze, and the result is what you see above.
Sort of an evaluation
So what were the consequences?
Well, that's a bit of a tricky question, which is probably why there has not been too much information out yet.
It does not mean, that nothing happened, nothing froze. But rather that it's quite hard to evaluate, because what looks dead now, may grow later. Unfortunately also the other way around, what looks healthy may be in a worse state than we expect right now.
However what seems to be the case in our plots is about 1/3 of the rachets seem to have been kissed and killed by the cold. Which then means less grapes and no branches to renew the plant next time we prune.
The plots at Vieilles Grandmères in Loisy-en-Brie have been confronted with the frost as well.
Basically we'll know if we have the amount of grapes needed at the time of the vendanges as we count our baskets.
And as for the pruning part, we'll prune as we can as any other year.
Champagne in general
Generally speaking numbers came this week.
A bit less than 5.000 hectares seem to be completely destroyed by the frost here in Champagne.
7.500 hectares are partly concerned. Count our three hecatares in here.
According to Dominique Moncomble, who is the manager of the viticulture department of Comité Champagne, this period of frost can be compared with those of 1989, 1990 and 1991
The Chardonnay vines are more affected than the Pinots, which is normal as this variety usually develops first.
Champagne is not alone. Burgundy and the Loire Valley have suffered bad frost as well.
So sad, but hey, now look at this: Not all buds have frozen, and this one hopefully will provide grapes at harvesttime.
Click to read more before the frost and after the frost.