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News - The 2016 vintage in the Bourgogne wine region

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The 2016 vintage in the Bourgogne wine region

A pleasant surprise

 

The people of the Bourgogne wine region like a story with a happy ending. The wines of the 2016 vintage have granted this wish, exhibiting a quality that was quite unexpected given the difficult start to the year.

One night of frost

Protecting vines from the frost in the Chablis Grand Cru - 04/27/16 - Picture : A.Ibanez

Protecting vines from the frost in the Chablis Grand Cru parcels, the night of 26-27 April 2016 - Picture : A.Ibanez

The night of 26-27 April 2016 will remain etched in the memory of all those who live in the Bourgogne region. It brought an historic late frost, when the first leaves had already emerged. While some areas are used to this kind of phenomenon, its territorial spread was exceptional. A few days beforehand, a violent hail storm struck the south of the wine region. And on 27 May, a further episode of hail swept the Mâconnais and the north of Bourgogne. A significant proportion of the future harvest was at risk. While everyone strived to preserve those bunches that had been spared and nurture the vines, no one could imagine how this vintage might end up.

From one extreme to another

On the summer solstice of 21 June, things turned radically around. After a particularly cold and wet spring, sun and warmth now took over. This sudden change allowed the vines to recover some strength. After an excess of water, some places were now experiencing drought, fortunately eased by some welcome rain in September, which allowed the fruit to ripen in very good conditions. This continued until the end of October, giving each plot the opportunity to be picked at the ideal moment. The harvests began on 20 September and stretched over one month.

In the end, a vintage of quality

The harvested grapes were in tip-top condition, ripe and delicious. The region’s vineyards nonetheless presented two contrasting sides: Either very little or no harvest on the plots hit by hail or frost; or nice yields in those sectors that were spared. In the course of vinification, the qualitative potential was soon confirmed, with lovely balance, which will give the wines elegance, finesse and structure, for both reds and whites. This constitutes the unexpected signature of this vintage.

In 2016, more than ever, each winemaker has left their own mark on their wines, which reflects the unfolding of this unique vintage.

Bourgogne winemakers talk vintage 2016

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