Philippe Bernard at Clos Saint Louis in Fixin in the Côte de Nuits has sent a greeting and some information about how the vine is on the brink of a new growing season. “2021 has so far been a normal year,” he says. “In Burgundy, this means some rain, some snow and some cold temperatures.”
It is currently warm, which, combined with moist soil, causes the buds to develop rapidly. The buds in the Côte d’Or are now “dans le coton”, which is the stage that follows the rise of the sap when the vine “weeps” (dripping out of the pruning cuts).
The most developed vineyards have already reached the next stage, “pointe verte”, meaning that the bud has continued to swell and started to turn green. The next stage, maybe in a week or so, is bud break. At that time, it is crucial to have a constant eye on the weather report.
Philippe is now using the time to do new plantings. “I like to plant new vines in the spring because I ‘work’ for my grandchildren, and I hope they continue…”.
(This was written the last week of March. The following week France was hit by a sequence of very cold nights with frost and temperatures sometimes going down to -10C. It caused enormous damage in the vineyards all over France.)