No sooner had I got back to London from Australia it was off to Burgundy for harvest. While we have had an extremely tough growing season we have been blessed with a dry and moderate August and first week of September. There is an old timers expression here – “September makes the harvest”. Those last few weeks before picking are truly the most important of the growing season and a lot of early season problems can be overlooked with a few weeks of beautiful weather.

Not only is it sunny but the North wind is blowing. Since the wind coming from the North is cool, the berries don’t rise in temperature like they would with no wind blowing (or heaven forbid a Southerly blowing). High berry temperatures not only lead to the fruit being possibly “burned” but the berries metabolise their malic acid stores faster than normal which can lead to the grape’s acid level being out of balance at harvest.

A touch of rain is forecast for Tuesday, which we could do with, and then cooler temperatures next week (highs of 18-22ºC) could lead to some extended hang time on the vines. We could even be picking the Savigny-lès-Beaune blanc high up above village the first week of October. In 2011 we picked those vineyards on the 5th of September.

You can see why every Burgundians favourite topic of conversation is the weather!

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