The year began with a wonderful winter, followed by a surprise : it snowed 40 cm as late as March, 5th.
In our garden, the apricot trees were flowering on April 9th and the cherry trees on the 18th.
Beautiful sunny days alternated with unusual freshness in spring.
June has been sunny, and all grape varieties have been flowering almost simultaneously, in a short period lasting from June 12th to the 20th. This made us look forward to continuous grape gathering.
July has been extremely hot. Temperatures have been exceeding 30° C almost everyday. We thought we were living the same climatic phenomenon than the one we saw in 2003.
August somehow dashed our hopes with 116 mm of rain. The bright days of the beginning of September brought the grapes to maturity.
In our estate, a well mastered charge of the grapes and a precocious phenolic maturity realized on the precocious vineyards made us start the grape gathering of the Crémant on September 13th.
We continued without any interruption, thanks to a demand for precocious grape-gathering granted by the Inao Institute.
The first 18 mm rain fell on Sunday, September 17th, followed by a warm period. I interpreted this as a first warning.
Considering the experience of year 1995 and our constant observation of our different vineyards, we increased the number of our pickers to 24 persons.
On week 38, we performed a precocious grape-gathering of all lots situated in the plain. We carried all of it out before September 23rd, while the official opening of the grape-gathering ban was only proclaimed on the 27th! The second warning came on September 24th and 25th, when a storm poured 40 mm more of rain.
On week 39, we gathered the Riesling Grand Cru, all of our Pinot Noir and the first lots of Pinot Gris. 26 mm of rain fell on Saturday 30th.
The Gewurztraminer resisted well to these rain falls thanks to the thickness of their skin.
Finally on week 40, we gathered the Gewurztraminer and the Pinot Gris Grand Cru with a finish foreseen for October 11th under sunshine.
To our opinion, the most important fact was the reaction rate of the grape-gathering. The sorting out realized, the pressing in entire grapes and the tight settling (separation of the different juices) gave us promising results.
The small harvest with more or less 45 hl/ha on all vineyards will be harder than the difficulty of this grape-gathering that spices our everyday life.