August rain: much needed refreshment

Forget the rain dance. Our review at the end of July, following six weeks of drought, was called ’Time to borrow some rain’ and it did the trick: Mother Nature acted on the collective response of ’you’re bloody welcome to it’ with some heavy showers in August. In fact, we had more rain at Bauduc in August than in the three previous months put together. Conveniently, the last instalment of rain was on 31 August, which is just as well.

Here are some pics and, yes, a weather graph or two.

At Bauduc, we had half the normal rainfall in May, June and July combined, then twice the normal rain (or the average over 30 years) in August. No rain since the (UK) Bank Holiday Monday, with none forecast for the first ten days of September.

004817_2015_chart_rain_Bauduc_2

The grass is greener. Here’s a picture of the same vines at the end of July and a month or so later.

28 July 2015

28 July 2015

IMG_5813

1 September 2015

From our point of view, I’m far happier having had the rain. The bunches of grapes are healthy, the skins are still quite thick – and resistant to rot – and we’ll have more juice. I don’t particularly like wine that’s been made from super-concentrated, tiny grapes. But that’s enough rain for now, I feel.

I’ve also pulled together some rainfall and temperature statistics from around the Bordeaux region.

004817_2015_chart_rain_temp_Average_3

The eight regions are the northern Médoc, Margaux, Léognan, Graves, Sauternes, Entre-Deux-Mers, St-Emilion and Blaye. There was, as is often the case, considerable variation from one area to another. For example, in the Médoc, St-Estephe had twice as much August rain as Margaux.

For those looking closely at the figures, note that the weekly stats don’t neatly correlate with the monthly figures. For example, there was rain on 31 July which is included in the July monthly figure, but in the weekly figure in ‘August’ to the 6th August.

Hopefully, you get the picture. I’ll comment further as the weather unfolds and we see some initial results from the harvest.