Climate change in Chablis?

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Cris Whetstone
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Climate change in Chablis?

#1 Post by Cris Whetstone » January 30th, 2012, 5:10 pm

Thanks for joining us Guillaume!

As an area I view somewhere between the cooler and warmer regions in France I would think that if there is a large scale effect on the climate happening that it may show up most clearly in the wine world in an area such as Chablis. Have you seen changes there of weather and growing seasons? If so what are you expecting in the future?
WetRock

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." - Francis Bacon

"I had taken two finger-bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Guillaume Michel
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#2 Post by Guillaume Michel » February 1st, 2012, 5:41 am

Hello Cris, hello everyone!

First of all I'd like to thank you and Todd French for opening the doors of this forum to me, this is a first experiment for me and I'll try to do my best to explain our wines and philosophy.

Sorry for the little late to start posting, but it has been quite the rush here in Chablis for a few days, because the winter is here (at last!) so we are now spreading the organic fertilizers. It has been very mild so far, and I'm quite happy to have temperatures below 0°c...

But we are used to this now... If you look over the last ten or fifteen years, it's clear that there is a change in our climate. Now we regularly harvest in the beginning of September, just like for the '10 vintage. Of course it does not mean that early vintages are not good ones (see '07 and '10) but it's mainly the result of early springs. And we almost don't have anymore spring frosts (of course because I say that I bet we'll have some next spring). To give you an idea, '03 is the last vintage we had to light on the smudge heaters, while my grand father and uncle had to do it almost every year until the end of the 90's...

We definitely have another challenge that my grand father did not have : to keep a good level of acidity/freshness when harvesting, with of course a good maturity. Because it's the way we like Chablis wines. Until the 90's the problem was sometime the high level of acidity (If I remember well, '72 was a good example of acidic wine!) and chaptalisation was systematically done every year, which is not the case anymore.

How will it be in the future? Time will tell, weather specialists don't agree on that point. But I'm sure Chablis will always keep its characteristics, and we'll do our best to show the most loyal expressions of the terroirs we are lucky to work with.

And finally, maybe we are lucky to be quite in the North of France!

ps. Sorry if my english is a bit approximate...

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Cris Whetstone
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#3 Post by Cris Whetstone » February 1st, 2012, 8:08 pm

Thank you for your answer Guillaume.

It is funny to me that the last vintage you used smudge pots was 2003 as that was such a very hot year for you over there. Yes, being in a Northern region offers you some buffer for a warming trend. Do you think this could rob more southerly regions of their classic characters if the trend continues as it is?
WetRock

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." - Francis Bacon

"I had taken two finger-bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Guillaume Michel
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Joined: January 31st, 2012, 7:04 am

Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#4 Post by Guillaume Michel » February 3rd, 2012, 9:00 am

I agree, it's funny to hear that about 2003, but it was really a year of "everything" ! By the was have you tasted a 2003 recently ? To me it does not deserve the bad criticisms, and it's getting better every day.

I think that all the areas will have to deal with warming and probably in the places where it's already hot it will be more evident... but only time will tell!

drsugarman
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#5 Post by drsugarman » February 3rd, 2012, 9:56 am

What can you tell us about Grenouilles? You are one of the few who make a wine from this location. How do you see it differentiating itself from the other Grand Crus? I have always been intrigued by this vineyard.


I LOVE CHABLIS!
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I T B

Guillaume Michel
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#6 Post by Guillaume Michel » February 3rd, 2012, 12:19 pm

Grenouilles is the smallest of the Chablis Grand Crus. It's located between Vaudésir and Valmur, facing South, and has the particularity to mix elegance and power. I think it's probably the most refined of the Grand Crus, enjoyable "young" and with a very nice evolution, even if you have to be careful because it can close up again after years in bottle.
Our parcel is 0,5 hectare, we produce roughly 2500 bottles every year, and the 2010 vintage is just wonderful !

drsugarman
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#7 Post by drsugarman » February 3rd, 2012, 12:29 pm

I just signed up with the VinConnect - will this be offered? Will the VinConnect pricing be favorable when compared to US Retail pricing? US pricing can be all over the map.
D a v i d S u g a r m a n
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Guillaume Michel
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#8 Post by Guillaume Michel » February 3rd, 2012, 1:28 pm

It was a great idea to sign up to VinConnect. We'll release soon some wine including les Séchets 2010, first vintage of this Premier Cru at the Domaine, and some other selected especially, including Grenouilles. You'll know more soon... ;-)

drsugarman
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Joined: January 28th, 2009, 6:14 am

Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#9 Post by drsugarman » February 3rd, 2012, 2:41 pm

Hope you release some in magnum format...
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Ian Fitzsimmons
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Re: Climate change in Chablis?

#10 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » February 3rd, 2012, 3:03 pm

Guillaume - further thanks for participating. Like David, Chablis is one of my favorite wine sources, and I have more bottles from Louis Michel in my cellar than any other Chablis estate. Thanks for your good work.

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