After such a great 2015 vintage, the “vignerons” in Burgundy were desperately hoping for a repeat performance with ideal climatic conditions. If past weather/vintage patterns are to go by, the 2016 should have been as good as 2006, 2010 or even 1996.
As fate would have it, 2016 has turned out to be one of the worst climatic disasters in the last 50 years. Just when the vines were starting their bud burst, the heavens unchained their fury and sent sub-zero temperatures, hail and high humidity from Chablis in the north of Burgundy to Macon in the south.Rare were the vineyards not to have been affected.
Half of the wineries have lost 30% of their potential yield with the other half losing between 50% and 70%!! If the north of Burgundy was hit by temperature of -6C in early spring, the south got hit by the hail on the 13th April.
As if recovering from the latest weather conditions was bad enough, the psychological scars are much deeper. With the exception of 2015, the last 5 years have also seen adverse weather conditions, mainly hail, destroy approximately 50% of all the vines. When the “vignerons” were wondering how to survive that drama, 2016 struck. There is question that the government might call this a “natural catastrophe” situation. It would be a small consolation for an already fragile market…