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

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.

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.

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)

What are the key hazards of the Chablis Climate?

The region is vulnerable to spring frosts and hail storms during the growing season.

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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