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Promising Burgundy 2022 vintage will ‘take the pressure off’

Published:  24 March, 2023

After three years of low yields impacted by weather events, Vins de Bourgogne has reported a 75% increase in volume vs 2021, accounting for nearly 1.75 million ha of wine. This will allow stocks to build back up after successive harvests that were low in quantity, but high on quality.

The increase was achieved despite extreme weather with frost, heatwaves and drought all impacting the vines. Budburst was later than in recent years, which helped protect the vines from April frost, and the subtle balance between vine terroir ensured that the vines came through a drought and four successive heatwaves unscathed.

Average yields were up 18% compared to the average over the last five years. In total, excluding the Volume Compensatoire Individuel or VCI (the storage system used by producers in the event of a poor harvest), 1.748 million ha of wines (233 million bottles) are now being aged. According to data from CAVB and FDAC, the Declaration of Harvest 2022, this makes 2022 the second-best yield ever after the 2018 harvest of almost 1.82 million ha.

White wines accounted for most of the harvest, totalling 1,073 million ha or 61% of the 2022 harvest (143 million bottles), up 24.5% on the average over the last five vintages.

The volume of red wine reached 477,607 ha, accounting for 27% of the 2022 harvest (63.7 million bottles), up 20% on the average over the last five vintages.

Finally, Crémant de Bourgogne wines accounted for 192,293 ha (25.6 million bottles) or 11% of the harvest, up 18% on the average over the last five vintages.

Harvesting began slowly on 16 August for some Crémant de Bourgogne vines. Grapes for still wines began to be gathered on 20 August on the Côte de Beaune, while the Crémant de Bourgognes picked up the pace. The rest of the region followed on behind, with the last bunches brought in from the Côte de Nuits, the Hautes Côtes and the Chablis region during the third week of September.

The news will be a welcome respite for merchants and collectors following a 2021 Burgundy vintage that was, ‘full of paradoxes’ according to Liv-ex’s 2021 Burgundy report, due to its limited quantities, high demand and subsequent price inflation.

Last year, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) reported 900,000 to 950,000 ha, representing ‘about 50% of a normal year’, and ‘two-thirds of the average in recent years’.

In January, Harpers reported that the Burgundian market was on a ‘collision course’ and desperately needed a string of high-yielding vintages in the future to avoid a potential car crash. Burgundy 2022 looks like a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, the Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne will open its doors in Chablis, Beaune and Mâcon in mid-June. Spearheaded by the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), the three sites celebrate the culture and history of Burgundy wine and will open in a two-day inauguration ceremony on 15-16 June.

The full programme will soon be available on the company’s brand-new website.