Maison Joseph DrouhinMaison Joseph Drouhin
Maison Joseph Drouhin

Frost in Burgundy

29.04.2016
The year 2016 had got off to rather a good start but then, in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday frost damage occurred, to varying degrees, in all of the Burgundy vineyards.
The temperatures, which are unusually cool for the season, also affected other vineyards in the more northern parts of France.
At this time of year when the buds are starting to open and the leaves are unfurling, especially in the Chardonnay plants, they are very fragile and sensitive to negative night temperatures.

The humid atmosphere adds to this fragility and further develops the risk of frost.
We wanted to wait a few days to perform a complete audit of our vineyards to see what seemed lost and which had resisted.
It's difficult to synthesize because there is from very low to very high percentage of damage according to the different areas.
The sector of Meursault, Chassagne and Puligny has been quite badly touched, as the Chardonnay is more precocious in these areas.
In Chablis, probably 20% of the vineyard is affected despite the frost protections that have been put in place.
For Côte d'Or reds, the hill of Corton and the Chambertin tend to have held up well.
However, the area around Chambolle is more affected with significant losses.

The only "good news" is that the Clos des Mouches, in white and red, has very low damage.

Our hope now is that the base-bud is not affected in the areas suffering from frost damage and will be fruitful and develop properly.
In 1991 we experienced the same phenomenon and the crop was qualitatively good, although late with low but not catastrophic yields.
We'll definitely have to learn to live with these climatic hazards.

Frédéric Drouhin