Coulure has been a problem in the French vineyards this year. But a bigger problem is probably the downy mildew. According to La Vigne, the mildew attacks started early this year in Burgundy, already at the beginning of the flowering. The reason is the wet spring in Burgundy. It rained 300 mm in April and May, which is a lot for only two months, and the rainy weather continued in June, so providing perfect conditions for downy mildew.
To protect the vines the growers are treating their vineyards with copper and other chemical products. There have been a lot of passages with the tractors already. The organic growers are only allowed to use copper to fight downy mildew and they worry that they might be forced to use more copper than they are allowed according to the organic rules. They are allowed to use, per year, 6 kilo of copper per hectare. But they can use more during a difficult year (maybe this one?) if, within a five year period they do not exceed 30 kilo per hectare.
Let us hope for sunny weather now that the summer heat it coming or else there is probably also risk of powdery mildew attacks. The life of a wine grower is not all a bed of roses.
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