After a 2020 vintage marked by the Covid19 pandemic, we were hoping, in 2021, for a return to normal both in everyday life and in the vineyard. It did not happen.
In April, a large majority of French vineyards were confronted with the spring frost which washed away a good part of the buds that had just bloomed. The constant is clear: yields throughout France will be historically low. In Châteauneuf-du-Pape we had a little more luck than our Burgundian colleagues who watched over their vines with the braziers for several nights. The frost did not linger here, but one night was enough to do significant damage. At Château Fortia, plots located in the plains were the most affected.
The rest of the spring was much calmer and the summer was hot and dry with some unexpected rains that allowed the vines to flourish gently. The harvests promised to be pretty good with beautiful bunches in perfect sanitary conditions, but unfortunately Mother Nature did not spare us once again. Just after harvesting the white grapes, the temperatures dropped and many rainy episodes in September greatly delayed the maturity of the grape berries and in places we saw an appearance of rot which required rigorous sorting during the harvest in order to keep only healthy bunches.
The 2021 vintage will be a small vintage but we expect good quality in both white and red wine thanks to the hard work of our teams both in the vineyard and in the cellar.