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Boutinot Rhône | The Wine Of The Rhône, France

2012 Southern Rhône harvest back to normal levels

27°C in the shade in Boutinot's Saint Andeol vineyards today

France has been ‘blessed’ with the same wet and cold weather Britain has suffered during the spring, initially raising concerns for the evolution of the growing season here in the southern Rhône valley.

During April, May and June rainfall has been 49mm higher than average level, with temperatures below expectations for the time of year, averaging 17.5°C instead of 20°C. However, the return to more typical summer weather in the southern Rhône has restored confidence that the 2012 harvest will be back to normal levels.

In the vineyard, as in life, there is always good which can come out of difficulties: so as a result of the spring and early summer rains, the vines are well-nourished and in full bloom of health; and in the Southern Rhône with its Mediterranean climate known for drought in the height of summer, the vines are unlikely to be stressed by such ‘sécheresse’ in 2012.

Eric Monnin, winemaker, speaking from Boutinot's Rhône estate in Cairanne said "Overall the Spring has been quite wet and we were worried that if it carried on raining then flowering would be affected. So when the sun started to shine in mid June, we were very relieved. The dry, warmer weather is just what the vines need at this stage, and we think the harvest won't be affected by the wet and cold weather we had in April and May". Eric went on to say "of course we are still checking each vine carefully for any signs of mildew or oïdium, but so far conditions in the vineyards are good".

Early Grenache Noir berries in good health