Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (updated Summer 2020)

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Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (updated Summer 2020)

#1 Post by William Kelley » June 25th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Continuing my informal series of vineyard photographs, here are some in Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, taken by a friend of mine a week or so ago. I'll try to post a map giving the location of the two parcels. But in the meantime, here are the vines:

You will see that both Lamy and d'Auvenay are following the "tressage" technique, whereby instead of hedging the vines, they're allowed to grow higher, with the canopies rolled over instead of cutting the apical shoot. D'Auvenay, however, hadn't yet rolled the canopies at the time these pictures were taken, whereas Lamy had already rolled his (the d'Auvenay trellising wires are higher so they have more space). Olivier Lamy has also inter-planted in this parcel to make it another of his high density cuvées. You can also see that the d'Auvenay team had treated the vines more aggressively, or just more immediately before the photo was taken, as a preventative measure against any kind of disease pressure (Criots is quite a humid site so susceptible to that).

Here's Lamy:

ImageLamy Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (1) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLamy Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (2) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLamy Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (3) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLamy Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (4) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

And here's d'Auvenay:

Imaged'Auvenay Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (1) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

Imaged'Auvenay Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (2) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

Imaged'Auvenay Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (3) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

Imaged'Auvenay Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (4) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr


I'll try to get some corresponding pictures just before harvest to show the evolution. And perhaps a few of the neighbors' vines for comparison...!
Last edited by William Kelley on July 26th, 2020, 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#2 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 25th, 2020, 3:07 pm

Thank you again for the fantastic pictures, William.

As far as the conversion to this kind of canopy management - does it require a wholesale replacement of the trellising wire or post system? Is it a multi-year process or is it all accomplished in one growing season? Is this solely for higher temperature/climate change mitigation or are there other perceived benefits? (sorry for bombarding you, but this stuff fascinates me.)

Again, appreciate your willingness to share with us.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#3 Post by William Kelley » June 25th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 3:07 pm
Thank you again for the fantastic pictures, William.

As far as the conversion to this kind of canopy management - does it require a wholesale replacement of the trellising wire or post system? Is it a multi-year process or is it all accomplished in one growing season? Is this solely for higher temperature/climate change mitigation or are there other perceived benefits? (sorry for bombarding you, but this stuff fascinates me.)

Again, appreciate your willingness to share with us.
Good questions!

In the Côte d'Or, Leroy was really the pioneer of this (Jean-Marie Guffens in the Mâconnais also moved to very minimal hedging quite early, but not actually rolling the canopies). So it's instructive to look at the trajectory they followed after stopping hedging in 1999. They have gradually raised the height of the trellising wires and stakes to accommodate the vigor of the vines: if you roll and still have low trellising wires, you end up with a very dense canopy which traps humidity and promotes disease. Equally, if you have very high trellising wires, you can't get into the vines by tractor, so you have to treat by hand with atomizers - and that doesn't always give reliable coverage (hence some of Leroy's disease issues in 2018 after they converted to an even higher training system). So there is an element of compromise. In a sense, a logical next step to take is to go over to training each vine up its own individual stake, sur échalas, and that is what Nicolas Faure, Jean-Yves Bizot, Charles Lachaux, Thierry Richoux (for one cuvée) and now Jean-Louis Trapet are doing. But the key point is avoiding cutting the apical shoot. As I mentioned, Leroy began this in 1999, Dugat-Py followed in some parcels in the mid-2000s, and now there are more and more people doing it: Jean-Marc Vincent, Lamy, Duroché, Nicolas Perrault, etc etc. Interestingly, one of the first growers to go over to minimal hedging - just enough to get a tractor into the vines - was Jean-Marie Guffens in the Mâconnais (who also does very minimal tilling - clearly another interesting approach), but even fewer people bother to visit vineyards in the Mâconnais than they do in the Côte d'Or, so he has never got any credit for this.

We are living through a re-imagining of viticulture in Burgundy for the first time in around a century, and it's very exciting to be witnessing it and, in a very small way, to be part of it.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#4 Post by Dennis Borczon » June 26th, 2020, 4:04 am

Again, thank goodness for actual wine writing! This should be interesting for all the wine geeks here. Don't know if this will actually make for better grapes, but the experiment is worth doing. I presume the treatment the D'Auvenay vines got before canopy management mentioned was copper sulfate, or was it some other sort of biodynamic preparation?

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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#5 Post by joz€f p1nxten » June 26th, 2020, 4:59 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 4:04 am
Again, thank goodness for actual wine writing! This should be interesting for all the wine geeks here. Don't know if this will actually make for better grapes, but the experiment is worth doing. I presume the treatment the D'Auvenay vines got before canopy management mentioned was copper sulfate, or was it some other sort of biodynamic preparation?
I had the same question on the treatment indeed!

And one more thing that would be interesting, William, is to take some pictures with a measuring stick next to them. I have seen it myself, and the pictures don't do justice to how high it is compared to neighbouring parcels and there is no perspective in them.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#6 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 6:47 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 4:04 am
Again, thank goodness for actual wine writing! This should be interesting for all the wine geeks here. Don't know if this will actually make for better grapes, but the experiment is worth doing. I presume the treatment the D'Auvenay vines got before canopy management mentioned was copper sulfate, or was it some other sort of biodynamic preparation?
The result seems to quite reliably be smaller grapes with a higher solids-to-juice ration, high levels of organic acids, earlier physiological maturity relative to sugar accumulation, and no second crop. So there are considerable advantages! But, you get less volume and have to do a lot more work.

And yes, looks like copper sulfate.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#7 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 6:49 am

joz€f p1nxten wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 4:59 am
And one more thing that would be interesting, William, is to take some pictures with a measuring stick next to them. I have seen it myself, and the pictures don't do justice to how high it is compared to neighbouring parcels and there is no perspective in them.
That will have to wait until I'm taking the pictures myself I think! Can't make too many demands of my friend... But when the vines reach their tallest it will be interesting to compare with the hedged neighbors...
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#8 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 6:52 am

Here is a map by Feng Tao, so you can see that Lamy and d'Auvenay's parcels touch in Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, at the very bottom of the grand cru.

ImageCriots-Bâtard-Montrachet ownership / Feng Tao by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#9 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 6:54 am

And here are some pictures of one of Domaine Leroy's plots of Musigny, taken yesterday. They give a better impression of how high the vines are growing.

ImageLeroy Musigny (1) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLeroy Musigny (2) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#10 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 26th, 2020, 7:05 am

One more question, sorry; what extra work is involved in maintaining these vines? You mentioned tractors being unable to enter the vineyard/do work when they're this tall, so is it just a matter of individual workers having to go in with backpacks full of spray as opposed to being able to do so from a tractor or are there other maintenance duties that need to be done?
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#11 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 7:12 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:05 am
One more question, sorry; what extra work is involved in maintaining these vines? You mentioned tractors being unable to enter the vineyard/do work when they're this tall, so is it just a matter of individual workers having to go in with backpacks full of spray as opposed to being able to do so from a tractor or are there other maintenance duties that need to be done?
Yeah, exactly that! Plus the work in rolling the canopy by hand, instead of just driving through a tractor with spinning blades a few times during the season to trim the vines.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#12 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 26th, 2020, 7:28 am

William Kelley wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:12 am
Yeah, exactly that! Plus the work in rolling the canopy by hand, instead of just driving through a tractor with spinning blades a few times during the season to trim the vines.
Very cool. One of the things that has stuck with me recently was something Armand Heitz of Heitz-Lochardet said on a recent Zoom call I was on; I was asking about yields as it pertains to the string of new climate change-influenced vintages and he said that they were more concerned with INCREASING yields - not to get more wine to sell, but due to the density and concentration of the grapes at the yields historically considered necessary for quality. Maybe this method is another way to better achieve the necessary balance.
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#13 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 7:43 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:28 am
William Kelley wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:12 am
Yeah, exactly that! Plus the work in rolling the canopy by hand, instead of just driving through a tractor with spinning blades a few times during the season to trim the vines.
Very cool. One of the things that has stuck with me recently was something Armand Heitz of Heitz-Lochardet said on a recent Zoom call I was on; I was asking about yields as it pertains to the string of new climate change-influenced vintages and he said that they were more concerned with INCREASING yields - not to get more wine to sell, but due to the density and concentration of the grapes at the yields historically considered necessary for quality. Maybe this method is another way to better achieve the necessary balance.
Certainly, higher yields ripen more slowly, so hanging more fruit can buffer sugar accumulation in warm, sunny vintages. But if it's possible to modify viticulture to give small yields with great acids, high levels of dry extract, and complete physiological maturity then I think that's much more desirable than simply carrying on as before and hanging more fruit to slow everything down.

Since you mention Armand, you can see one of his parcels in this video that he posted the other day: https://youtu.be/TpuIlWLpSRk
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#14 Post by joz€f p1nxten » June 26th, 2020, 8:35 am

William Kelley wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:43 am
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:28 am
William Kelley wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 7:12 am
Yeah, exactly that! Plus the work in rolling the canopy by hand, instead of just driving through a tractor with spinning blades a few times during the season to trim the vines.
Very cool. One of the things that has stuck with me recently was something Armand Heitz of Heitz-Lochardet said on a recent Zoom call I was on; I was asking about yields as it pertains to the string of new climate change-influenced vintages and he said that they were more concerned with INCREASING yields - not to get more wine to sell, but due to the density and concentration of the grapes at the yields historically considered necessary for quality. Maybe this method is another way to better achieve the necessary balance.
Certainly, higher yields ripen more slowly, so hanging more fruit can buffer sugar accumulation in warm, sunny vintages. But if it's possible to modify viticulture to give small yields with great acids, high levels of dry extract, and complete physiological maturity then I think that's much more desirable than simply carrying on as before and hanging more fruit to slow everything down.

Since you mention Armand, you can see one of his parcels in this video that he posted the other day: https://youtu.be/TpuIlWLpSRk
A strange video: gardening, balancing a bottle on a swing, picking flowers? But his vines are definitely not hedged :-).
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#15 Post by Claus Jeppesen » June 26th, 2020, 9:45 am

Thanks William
Are the Lamy vines Hautes Densitee?
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#16 Post by Nick Christie » June 26th, 2020, 9:55 am

William Kelley wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 3:17 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 3:07 pm
Thank you again for the fantastic pictures, William.

As far as the conversion to this kind of canopy management - does it require a wholesale replacement of the trellising wire or post system? Is it a multi-year process or is it all accomplished in one growing season? Is this solely for higher temperature/climate change mitigation or are there other perceived benefits? (sorry for bombarding you, but this stuff fascinates me.)

Again, appreciate your willingness to share with us.
Good questions!

In the Côte d'Or, Leroy was really the pioneer of this (Jean-Marie Guffens in the Mâconnais also moved to very minimal hedging quite early, but not actually rolling the canopies). So it's instructive to look at the trajectory they followed after stopping hedging in 1999. They have gradually raised the height of the trellising wires and stakes to accommodate the vigor of the vines: if you roll and still have low trellising wires, you end up with a very dense canopy which traps humidity and promotes disease. Equally, if you have very high trellising wires, you can't get into the vines by tractor, so you have to treat by hand with atomizers - and that doesn't always give reliable coverage (hence some of Leroy's disease issues in 2018 after they converted to an even higher training system). So there is an element of compromise. In a sense, a logical next step to take is to go over to training each vine up its own individual stake, sur échalas, and that is what Nicolas Faure, Jean-Yves Bizot, Charles Lachaux, Thierry Richoux (for one cuvée) and now Jean-Louis Trapet are doing. But the key point is avoiding cutting the apical shoot. As I mentioned, Leroy began this in 1999, Dugat-Py followed in some parcels in the mid-2000s, and now there are more and more people doing it: Jean-Marc Vincent, Lamy, Duroché, Nicolas Perrault, etc etc. Interestingly, one of the first growers to go over to minimal hedging - just enough to get a tractor into the vines - was Jean-Marie Guffens in the Mâconnais (who also does very minimal tilling - clearly another interesting approach), but even fewer people bother to visit vineyards in the Mâconnais than they do in the Côte d'Or, so he has never got any credit for this.

We are living through a re-imagining of viticulture in Burgundy for the first time in around a century, and it's very exciting to be witnessing it and, in a very small way, to be part of it.
I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm for these little intricacies of agriculture, William. They help my/our understanding of very much. Thank you for sharing and continuing the dialogue from the terroir thread :).

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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#17 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 10:20 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:45 am
Thanks William
Are the Lamy vines Hautes Densitee?
Yes!
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#18 Post by William Kelley » June 26th, 2020, 10:21 am

Nick Christie wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:55 am

I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm for these little intricacies of agriculture, William. They help my/our understanding of very much. Thank you for sharing and continuing the dialogue from the terroir thread :).
My pleasure! More to come...
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#19 Post by Alan Rath » June 26th, 2020, 2:06 pm

William Kelley wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 3:17 pm
We are living through a re-imagining of viticulture in Burgundy for the first time in around a century, and it's very exciting to be witnessing it and, in a very small way, to be part of it.
While I agree, another reaction I had to this observation: we have also lived through changes in viticulture and winemaking that led to premox [wow.gif]

But a fascinating thread, and as others have said, many thanks for contributing such interesting details! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#20 Post by billnanson » June 30th, 2020, 8:32 am

Yes, Lalou isn't skimping with her treatments this year - here's her Richebourg at lunchtime - but all the other Vosnes are the same...

Image
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#21 Post by Greg K » June 30th, 2020, 8:48 am

Alan Rath wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 2:06 pm
William Kelley wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 3:17 pm
We are living through a re-imagining of viticulture in Burgundy for the first time in around a century, and it's very exciting to be witnessing it and, in a very small way, to be part of it.
While I agree, another reaction I had to this observation: we have also lived through changes in viticulture and winemaking that led to premox [wow.gif]

But a fascinating thread, and as others have said, many thanks for contributing such interesting details! [cheers.gif]
I've always found this balance extremely interesting. I recall reading Noble Rot and how (I think) Rolland makes the comment that if only Margaux's winemaker would use new techniques more with his terroir, the wine would be even better. It's a very interesting line to draw between being in favor of progress yet also respecting tradition and straddling that line, especially when many of the "snobs" in wine (of which I'm certainly one) look at many of the more new techniques suspicion.

Plus, of course, progress that I suspect that many of us are in favor of is no guarantee of the wines being good. Chapoutier has been an early champion of biodynamics, including letting grass grow in the vineyards for overall biome health. Yet many old school producers have explicitly eschewed that approach (Gonon, for instance). Many years ago I was visiting an old school producer in Cote Rotie who took me on a tour of their vines. I asked why the vineyards across the slope (i.e. Chapoutier's) looked so different, and they explained the approach very briefly, paused and said "at least the vineyards look very pretty".
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay

#22 Post by Greg K » June 30th, 2020, 8:49 am

William Kelley wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 10:21 am
Nick Christie wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:55 am

I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm for these little intricacies of agriculture, William. They help my/our understanding of very much. Thank you for sharing and continuing the dialogue from the terroir thread :).
My pleasure! More to come...
Thanks William! This is really interesting - especially since it appears travel to France isn't on the immediate docket for many of us.......
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#23 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 30th, 2020, 9:03 am

billnanson wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 8:32 am
Yes, Lalou isn't skimping with her treatments this year - here's her Richbourg at lunchtime - but all the other Vosnes are the same...
Is there specific disease or mildew pressure this growing season that is upping the use of sprays?
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#24 Post by billnanson » June 30th, 2020, 10:39 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 9:03 am
billnanson wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 8:32 am
Yes, Lalou isn't skimping with her treatments this year - here's her Richbourg at lunchtime - but all the other Vosnes are the same...
Is there specific disease or mildew pressure this growing season that is upping the use of sprays?
I haven't seen the published stats for the last 7 days, yet, Sean, but as of early last week, there was not much in the way of disease pressure for the 2020s...
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (plus Leroy Musigny)

#25 Post by William Kelley » July 26th, 2020, 11:21 am

Here are some updates on these two parcels of Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, taken yesterday:

First, Olivier Lamy's high density plantings...

ImageLamy Summer 2020 (1) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLamy Summer 2020 (2) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLamy Summer 2020 (3) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

In the last photo, you can clearly see how Olivier has inter-planted between the older vines to increase the density.

And here is Lalou Bize-Leroy's Criots...

ImageLalou Summer 2020 (1) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLalou Summer 2020 (2) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLalou Summer 2020 (3) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr

ImageLalou Summer 2020 (4) by WilliamGFKelley, on Flickr
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (updated Summer 2020)

#26 Post by joz€f p1nxten » July 26th, 2020, 11:55 am

Thanks. And the white stains, that's presumably bouillie bordelaise?
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (updated Summer 2020)

#27 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 26th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Interesting - is it just that the rain has washed away the sprays from the higher part of the plants and that's why the lower half still has residue?
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Re: Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet: Lamy & d'Auvenay (updated Summer 2020)

#28 Post by William Kelley » July 26th, 2020, 5:56 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 12:04 pm
Interesting - is it just that the rain has washed away the sprays from the higher part of the plants and that's why the lower half still has residue?
Yeah, I assume so! Have had a few showers in Burgundy in the last 48 hours I think.
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