Vintage 2019 - Trends and prospects in the Gérard Bertrand vineyards

Millésime 2019 - Tendances et perspectives dans les vignobles Gérard Bertrand

2019 returns to a more Mediterranean profile than the previous vintage. A vintage full of nuances which brings out more clearly the specificities and differences between each terroir, from the borders of the Pyrenees (Domaine de L'aigle in AOC Limoux and Château la Soujeole in AOC Malepère ) to the foothills of Larzac (Château La Sauvageonne in AOC Terrasses du Larzac) via the coast (Châteaux L'Hospitalet, Karantes and Tarailhan in AOC Clape).

Climate:

- Less rainfall than in 2018, distribution of precipitation mainly in autumn (and early winter) with a marked "summer trough"

-       A mild winter, erratic spring temperatures and some summer heat waves

- Water management is an essential issue for the management of the vineyard

-       The rains were rare in July and August, more abundant in western Aude (transitional climate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic) than in the coastal and eastern region of Languedoc

Cycle of the vine:

We observed an early budburst, linked to the end of winter with "mild" temperatures. Subsequently, we were led to preventively deploy, in sensitive areas, “candles”, which allowed us to avoid the pitfall of frosts.

The spring rains fell at the right time, to take over from the Autumn and early Winter rains, and guarantee good nutrition mineral, essential for growth and building up the leaf surface (“photosynthetic motor” of maturation).

Flowering was slow to appear this year and took its time, which will affect veraison and maturity. The first maturity checks confirm this lag, which is estimated at 7 to 10 days compared to 2018.

Management of the vineyard:

Respecting a few fundamental principles allows us to be very optimistic about the 2019 vintage:

  • Adaptation of grape varieties to the terroir
  • Practice (and certification) of Biodynamic Agriculture
  •       Soil maintenance by tillage:technique that promotes the proper functioning of the soil by limiting competition between vines and natural grass (the adage "a hoe is worth two waterings" is even more relevant this year)
  • Stimulating nutrition through supplies of organic matter to the soiland biodynamic foliar applications (horn dung and silica, herbal teas and essential oils)
  • Control and adjustment of yields and leaf area, to the potential of each grape variety/terroir

This year, biodynamic applications have played a particularly important role in supporting the harmonious development of vegetation, and stimulating natural defenses against climatic aggressions (frost, hail , water stress) or parasites.

They followed one another according to the rhythm of the seasons and planetary alignments: Maria Thun dung compost, Horn dung, Horn silica, Valerian, Horsetail, Nettle, Oak bark...

Applications of biodynamic preparations (horn dung, herbal teas) played a stimulating role for the vitality of the foliage. In addition, during heat waves, we take care to limit the addition of sulfur likely to burn the foliage under high temperatures.

The sanitary state of the vineyard is excellent, but like every year, we exercise vigilance and daily attention by surveying each plot Monitoring and precision work that allow us to accompany each foot of vine until harvest in the best conditions.

An excellent vintage:

Current conditions augur well for an excellent vintage, as we have a very good balance between grapes and leaf area. The grapes are in excellent sanitary condition, with functional foliage (without mineral deficiency). We will ensure, as every year, to reach the right level of maturity for each plot and we will be patient for the harvest which will probably end at the end of October.

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