Crazy climate in the vineyards
2021 will be remembered by winemakers for frosts, floods, fires and Covid. A series of disasters and the obvious need to commit to defending the earth
The crazy climate is there for all to see: heat peaks even in Canada, immense fires and floods, frosts that run through Europe like tsunamis. If we fail to reduce the greenhouse effect and rebalance the climate, the earth will become a desert.
2021 VINTAGE WITH A CRAZY CLIMATE HITS ESPECIALLY THE FRENCH VINEYARDS
In the vineyards a first calculation of the damage is made.
The grapes are not yet all in the cellars and therefore anything can still happen but apparently the European wine region most affected by the meteorological excesses of this crazy 2021 is France.
The frost of 7-8 April also did damage to us in Italy, but in France it seems to have been of an impressive violence and, as in 2017, it hit most of the prestigious areas from Bordeaux to Burgundy, from the Rhone Valley to Champagne.
FROSTS, FLOODS, HEAT AND MOULD: A VARIETY OF PROBLEMS IN FRENCH VINEYARDS
But there were also other problems because the heavy summer rains caused devastating floods and the high temperatures favoured the spread of mould forcing winemakers to fight every day to defend the grapes. The data of the Parisian Ministry look like a war bulletin: in Champagne half of the bunches have symptoms of late blight, in Alsace there have been attacks of both late blight and powdery mildew.
The “Service de la Statistique et de la Prospective” says that in Beaujolais, the Loire Valley, Charentes and the South-West there have been developments of “powdery mildew and sometimes black rot or botrytis depending on the Region”.
Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon, as in central-southern Italy, the vineyards have suffered from drought so the size of the bunches and berries is below average.
SPAIN MIGHT PRODUCE MORE WINE THAN FRANCE IN 2021
Overall, French forecasts speak of a 20-26% drop in grape production at a time when a good harvest would have been necessary. The wine market is recovering after the problems related to Covid and the French have just celebrated the end of the duties on their bottles, put by Donald Trump.
The Spaniards are ready to overtake. They also expect a 10% drop but think they will produce 43 million hectolitres so more than the French who expect 32-35 million. Hispanic quality will be good but not excellent although rather regular everywhere.