Most wine lovers will know that the spring of 2013 has been harsh to agriculture with rain, floods, late frosts and up/down temperatures causing problems. Mid-May saw vines in parts of Burgundy covered by fresh snow and devastating hail swathed along the Loire.
Vines in the Languedoc have fared much better. The wettest March since at least 1960, reported at the end of my recent Climate change post, put water tables back to normal after years of partial drought. Whilst April and May were as unsettled and cool as the rest of France, the flowering overall seems to have been little affected. A short article in the regional paper the Midi-Libre estimated a potential increase in yield of 6% over 2012. It also confirmed what is obvious from observing the vineyards, vine development is behind. The article states reports of 10 to 15 days behind recent years and I've heard 2 to 3 weeks from several growers which probably reflects the situation for cooler vineyard sites.
There's a long way to go. Harvests have generally been earlier and earlier in recent years so the nett result could be something closer to a medium term average.
Frost in the Languedoc
6 days ago