21 April 2021

Le Chardonnay a résisté...

...au froid. There's a vineyard parcel planted in Chardonnay vines just down the hill from our property, on the north side. In general the lower vineyard parcels are the coldest — cold air settles toward lower ground when there's little or no wind, as has been the case recently. So I was surprised yesterday afternoon when I walked down the hill and saw more new leaves on the Chardonnay vines than on any of the other vine varieties out in the vineyard.

Here's the parcel of Chardonnay vines as you see it when you walk back up the hill, coming out of the woods.
Below is a series of photos of the new growth and last year's tendrils wrapped around the support wires.






One thing I know about Chardonnay grapes is that they are the first ones harvested every year, usually in September and sometimes in late August. I guess they get an earlier start in the spring because they are more resistant to cold temperatures and frost — so they are ripe earlier than the Gamay, Côt, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the vineyard at the end of the growing season. Chardonnay is the main white-wine grape planted east of us in Burgundy (Chablis, Mâcon, etc.) where the winters are colder than they are here in Touraine.

15 comments:

  1. In the last photo the vine is ready to bloom; let's hope there won't be any freeze. I wonder if, one day, vines and fruit trees will be bio-engineered to be frost resistant?

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    1. I don't think those are flower buds. They're more leaf buds. It's a little early for flowers, which are almost microscopic on grapevines.

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  2. we're supposed to have a low of 30 tonight here in WNC yikes....it will be a record and I hope the peach crop survives...my hydrangeas are already looking sad...I imagine the vineyards around here are having problems too

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    1. I just checked and I see you're at about 2,000 feet of elevation. We're at about 500 feet. Of course, you're many hundreds of miles south of us — much closer to the equator.

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  3. chardannay not seen much in the Loire I dont think - mainly Chenin Blanc???

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    1. Chardonnay is grown in the Loire but mainly for "assemblng" with other grapes to make sparkling wines. I know of several Loire wineries that produce still (non-sparkling) Chardonnays. But yes Chenin Blanc is more common here (Vouvray, Mont-Louis, Chinon). Not to mention the more widely growm Sauvignon Blanc.

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  4. Thank you for the update. Grape tendrils are beautiful.
    In other news, U.S. Department of State sent via email a "Level 4: Do not travel" warning for France because of Covid and "terrorist groups." The warning emphasizes the danger of traveling to Paris or "on weekends." I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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    1. To clarify: I found the warning ironic.

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    2. I read somewhere a few days ago that the State Department is putting a huge number of countries on its don't-travel list. We are still under lockdown in France. That doesn't prevent people from moving around, however. Our neighbors from Blois are here, despite the fact that Blois is outside our designated travel perimeter (it's more than 30 kms from here). Walt talked to them yesterday and asked them if they have some kind of special permission to drive down and stay here. They told him they don't care about the lockdown order (on s'en fout de tout ça is what they said. In theory, if they get caught, they risk a 135 euro fine. I'm not to happy about having them here under the current conditions. I'd love to go to Blois to do some shopping, but I know I can't risk it.

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    3. Better safe than sorry!

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  5. The young shoots are attractive. Looks like you got some grasshoppers in the last photo too. I suspect more Americans drink Chardonnay than Chenin Blanc....maybe I just don't look for the latter on our shelves.

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    1. Hi D. What you think is a grasshoper, looks to me me as the nymph's skelton of a just born dragonfly. The dragonfly is upside down, below, with its brown wings not yet deployed. What do you think? Do I have too much imagination?

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    2. Yep, chm, you are right because the skeleton is see-through!

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  6. Going down to 37 in Birmingham tonight! The sun is out and the air is refreshing actually.

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  7. I have heard that the frost has destroyed much of the soft fruit this year as well.
    We have had frosts overnight many nights in succession here in Derbyshire. That's not uncommon although it feels worse than usual. But at last it has been dry and we have had some nice sunny days to cheer us up.

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