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Domaine Tortochot, The 2012 Harvest Report

Chantal’s son Nicolas

We just received this Harvest Report from Chantal Tortochot of Domaine Tortochot in Gevrey-Chambertin, along with a selection of images from the harvest. Thanks Chantal!

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Report of Vintage 2012

The weather during the winter began with a mild and dry October and November, which deteriorated into a mild but wet December and early January.

It then became cold, when the temperatures descended to minus 18 °C, sufficient to maybe not damage the vines but to cause much damage to the other garden plants.

March saw an improvement with high temperatures for that time of the year and plenty of sun, but in April it became cold and wet with frost damage over the Easter weekend.

A part of the harvest team

This bad and cold weather continued for May.

So spraying against mildew and oidium began in the vineyard.

The vines were 2 or 3 weeks behind the norm in flowering, which was not expected in Gevrey before the 20th of June and had lasted till the end of June. The flowering has been long, so the vines are heterogeneous, from bunch to bunch, with lots of aborted grapes (coulure) and undersized grapes (millerandage) reported.

Moreover, there had been the most serious threat of mildew in the last 15 years.

Chantal’s daughter Eloise in Clos de Vougeot & The harvest team

The weather in July showed improvement, becoming warmer and sunnier.

There was no hail in Gevrey and we have been very lucky.

We have had very nice weather since the 15th of August until the 20th of September, with wind from the north, cold temperatures in the morning and warmer temperatures in the afternoon–perfect conditions for optimum maturation of the grapes.

The future quality of the wines is made during the last month of maturation so we recovered some hope.

Nicholas in the Clos de Vougeot vineyard & The grapes

We decide to pick from Saturday, September 22nd, for the next 6 days, until September 28th.

The weather turned notably autumnal, starting with quite a rainfall, but nothing serious for the harvest.

We expect to produce a small crop in quantity, about 35 hl/ha of wine produced.

2012 will be the third short crop in the last 3 years, but there is no reason why it should not give very good wines. Fortunately the buckets of sorted grape fruits are quite empty as the grapes are ripe and very clean with no rot.

This year will stay in the memories of [Burgundian] wine producers for the lot of work done in the vineyard to struggle against the bad weather conditions.

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