Chablis - The Growing Environment and grape growing - Climate

7 important questions on Chablis - The Growing Environment and grape growing - Climate

Chablis has a continental climate, what are the risk? Are there any advantages?

  • Slightly cooler than Côte d'Or
  • Uncertainty about ripening, due to northern location
  • Chardonnay ripens early, is an advantage
  • Rainfall (670mm through the year) is threat for fungal diseases plus rot during harvest.
  • Risk on spring frost!
  • hail storms during growing season
  • heated cellers needed to keep fermentation going
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What is the disadvantage of Chablis its climate?

Because of the cool northern location there is uncertainty about ripening and considerable vintage variation from year to year.
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Spring frost (with early budding) is an issue in Chablis, how can this be managed?

  • smudge pots: requires staff, impact on cost, air pollution
  • sprinklers (aspersion): most popular but expensive installation and maintenance cost (roi for 1e cru and grand cru vineyards)
  • pruning choices: later pruning is later bud-burst, reducing damage
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Why is Chardonnay ideal as the only grape variety of Chablis?

Because Chardonnay has early ripening characteristics.
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The average annual rainfall is 670mm per year and this is spread throughout the year making Chablis a moist climate. What is the threat the Chablis region therefore faces and which period is it the most problematic?

Because of the moist climate of the Chablis there is a high risk and threat of fungal diseases. This leads to problems especially in the period to harvest. (Rot)
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What are the key hazards of the Chablis Climate?

The region is vulnerable to spring frosts and hail storms during the growing season.
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What are options of managing the spring frosts?

  • Smudge pots
  • Sprinklers -- most popular option
  • Pruning choices  -  > later pruning promotes later bud-burst
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