2021 Challenges for Winemakers of Provence
The 2021 weather disadvantaged winegrowers in France and Provence. Frost, fire, hail and even turtles made it worse. So how will the wine vintage 2021 be after all these worries?
2021 Provence Vintage
After a tough 2020, the new year began in the same way. The Covid-19 restrictions continued, as did the 25% punitive taxes on wine exports to the United States and the new post-Brexit administration complicating matters for the small wine estates. Fortunately, Joe Biden suspended the punitive taxes at the beginning of March, and these are now gone for five years for the time being.
With ongoing vaccinations against covid-19 and the suspended punitive taxes, the winegrowers finally saw the light in the tunnel. But the joy lasted only a month! At the end of March and the beginning of April, the daytime temperature in Provence was above the average temperature of May, so the vines thrived and budded, and the shoots picked up speed. Then on the night of April 8, there was a heavy frost that killed many buds on both vines and fruit trees in France.
Fire and Hail
Until the beginning of August, the summer months were not too hot with a temperature that was one and a half degrees above normal but with precipitation that was only a quarter of normal, i.e., virtually no rain at all. Then, unfortunately, a heatwave came, combined with a powerful Mistral wind and a mildly expressed careless person who threw a cigarette butt at the Sigues rest area along the A57 motorway. In a few moments, it started the largest forest fire in the area since 2003.
Continue reading “2021 – A Difficult Wine Year in Provence” for details on this challenging year for winemakers in the South of France.
Here is some additional information on how the brush fire in August devasted some vineyards in the Var.
Göran Boman, the author of The Wines of Provence – Tricolour, is based in Sweden, far from Provence’s vineyards. His studies at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology led to a career with large international companies. Before retiring, Göran monitored the quality of nuclear fuel transmitted from EDF France to Sweden.
About 25 years ago, he joined Munskänkarna (“Cup-bearers”) for wine tastings and education. The association is the world’s largest non-commercial wine tasting group with 30,000 members, mainly in Sweden and Provence.
If you love the Provence wines, then this Essential Reading is for you. In his book, Göran Boman covers 58 wine producers and recommends 338 wines, not just rosé wines. Use the book as a guide to discovering these wines and the producers. His goal is to deepen your knowledge of everything worth knowing about the wines of Provence.