BAD NEWS IN BURGUNDY
Whether you see the writing on the wall regarding global warming or your head’s buried in the sand, there’s no denying that Mother Nature is globally wreaking havoc on sectors of the wine industry. Coming on the heels of Champagne suffering one of its worst seasons, Burgundy is facing up to its smallest harvest since the mid-195Os after the vineyards of the Côte d’Or suffered a mixture of frost, hail, mildew and poor flowering. Price rises are inevitable because – unlike the last much-reduced harvest in 2OO3 – commercial stock levels are low for both premium and commercial wines. One major négociant has already indicated that provisional pricing will increase by as much as 35%, and bulk prices for entry-level Bourgogne Pinot Noir have risen 5O% in recent weeks. The Côte de Beaune was particularly badly affected, with hail impacting vineyards in Corton, Montrachet, Volnay and Pommard, among others. Although the quantity will be greatly reduced, producers are optimistic about the quality of red wines in particular, after a growing season characterized by small bunches and small grapes with thick skins. “The reds are very concentrated, but without the lack of acidity we had in 2OO3,” said Bruno Pepin, commercial director at Louis Latour. Stock up on your Burgundies now, it could be a long few years.