The beginning of the year was characterised by an unusually intense cold spell, the temperatures remaining around 0°C. January and February were rainy and snowy. The rainy weather continued in March and April with rainfall often 60% - 100% above the seasonal averages.

In these conditions the vines were slow to start, and the first tears were observed in the middle of the month of May. There were hardly any sunny days to obtain the first stage of bud break. The month of May also suffered from high rainfall and cool temperatures. These conditions severely hampered the growth of the vines, and at the end of the month we were observing a 15 to 18 day delay compared to a normal year.

At the beginning of June fine weather returned with normal seasonal temperatures thereby allowing a rapid and dynamic growth spurt. In certain areas new leaves were opening every 2 days. The first flowers were quickly observed by mid-June in the most early developing areas. The flowering progressed quickly under very hot temperatures for the season. Cool and humid conditions developed after the 20th of June, hampering the flowering and causing "coulure" (non transformation of flowers to fruit) and millerandage (small berry clusters) in numerous areas. The estimated potential yields were down by 10 to 30%.
July was a hot month with above average periods of sunshine and high temperatures; consequently the vines underwent rapid evolution.
At the beginning of September the weather changed again with warmer temperatures and light rain in certain areas. The grapes ripened in good conditions.
The grape harvest started on the 5th of October in Chablis. The picking lasted for 15 days.
The 2013 growing season was extremely tiring for winemakers. Phytosanitary treatments had to be started very early and continued throughout the whole of the season. The biodynamic treatments in the parcels stimulated the natural resistance of the vines, thereby obtaining a reasonably good crop.
The quantities of wine produced were very low due to the problems in the flowering, and hence the very meticulous sorting that resulted in order to guarantee the quality.

Vinification :
Chablis: crop 10 to 20 % lower than average. The harvest was fairly late. The wines have a very lively aspect, a light and subtle personality with the unique minerality which is typical of the "terroir" of Chablis.

Frédéric Drouhin
8 September 2014

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