RSJ's 30th anniversary: 1980-2010

2010 was a very special year for us as the RSJ Restaurant celebrated its 30th year. We held a number of special events through the year to mark our 30th birthday.

36th Year: 1980-2016

Another milestone with events happening during our 36th anniversary year.

Monday, June 15, 2009

News from the Loire: threat of mildew and difficult flowering

Cabernet Franc flowering in Chinon: 2nd June 2009
Vines flower discreetly unlike cherries etc. Note little white stamens.

Unfortunately after a generally good month of May, apart from Menetou-Salon which got hit by hail twice, the weather has rather gone downhill since the end of the first week of June. Last Monday (8th June) it rained very heavily for much of the day – 70-80 mm falling. One small road we drove along near Montlouis had two torrents pouring down either side of the road.

The weather remained unsettled on Tuesday and Wednesday but cleared up on Thursday. By Sunday it had become very humid and today it is showery and still humid. Unfortunately this unsettled weather has come at a bad moment – the vines are flowering and this is always a critical moment in the vigerons calendar. Hot, sunny weather during the flowering means that the whole process happens quickly over just a few days and there is a good fruit set. Cold, wet, windy weather means that the flowering is drawn out and the fruit set can be poor. Because the flowering is extended it also means that there will be a considerably variation of maturity making harvesting more complicated.

When I was in Chinon on 2nd June some of the Cabernet Franc was just starting to flower. At the same time Gamay and Chardonnay was flowering in eastern Touraine. Yesterday some of the Chenin Blanc in Montlouis was starting to flower.

Furthermore this wet and then humid weather has provoked attacks of mildew with the vignerons busy out spraying to protect their vines. However, there are reports that some vineyards have suffered severe attacks of mildew, although I have yet to see them.

Chenin flowering in Montlouis: Sunday 14th June

The forecast for the rest of the week is better, so hopefully the flowering will be nearly over by the end of the week and conditions will be less favorable for mildew. Fortunately the 2009 harvest is potentially big, so that if the flowering isn't completely successful it won't matter too much. Indeed it could be a blessing saving producers from cutting off excess bunches.


Report on the June 8th tasting hopefully coming shortly .................

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