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Bordeaux 2011: Record rain deficits, temperatures and sunlight

Bordeaux needs rain, say winemakers, as the region has seen record dryness, high temperatures and hours of sunlight so far in 2011.

Since January, Bordeaux has had far lower rainfall than usual: 27mm instead of 92mm average in January, 62mm instead of the 82mm average in February, less than half of the average 70mm in March and only 11.2mm of rain instead of the 82mm average in April.
‘We have never seen this before,’ said Jean-Claude Berrouet, who works with Maison Moueix, famous for many Pomerol wines including Petrus, Trotanoy, La Fleur Petrus and others.
Sunlight hours and temperatures have been much higher than normal, Berrouet told Decanter.com: 279 sunlight hours in April, as opposed to the 177-hour average for that month, for example.
The trend has continued into May, said Eric Boissenot, who consults for some of the most famous chateaux in the Medoc.

Although flowering was very homogenous and the vines are healthy, he said, the dry weather ‘could become a problem if it continues into the summer, because it would result in hydric stress for the vines.’

For now, expectations are for a ‘precocious’ 2011 harvest, as vineyard development is ‘a good two weeks in advance’ Boissenot added.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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