The mildew plague sweeping through French vineyards has not caught on in Burgundy due to the recent cold weather, say local growers.
Although there have been scattered reports of mildew affecting leaves in vineyards throughout the region, with the Cote Chalonnaise most affected, the incidents are rare and have not spread to the grapes where most damage occurs.
Christine Monamy, who monitors harvest conditions on behalf of the regional wine trade body (BIVB), told decanter.com that although mildew was present in the region, the ‘cold weather has stopped the fungus developing’.
‘It’s nothing alarming,’ said grower and producer Francois Parent in Pommard.
Claire Naudin, of Domaine Naudin-Ferrand, agreed that mildew posed little threat, but said that oidium (powdery mildew, not halted by cold conditions) and grey rot were concerns.
‘There are small traces of grey rot in some vineyards in the region,’ she said. ‘We’ve had to do a few extra treatments to the vines.’
Despite the cold weather throughout France, the Burgundy harvest is running almost one month ahead of schedule due to early flowering in a warm spring. The harvest is set to take place in mid-August to early September, with white Maconnais and Crémant de Bourgogne leading the field.
‘On average, the region is three weeks ahead of the harvest timetable,’ said Monamy. ‘Although you can’t compare the two vintages, we’re nine days ahead of the 2003 vintage.’
Written by Oliver Styles