Grappe de Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, millésime 2020, Armand Heitz

The 2020 vintage

Posted by Armand Heitz on

The year 2020 was marked by the beginning of the health crisis and the first confinement from March to May. Beyond this singular aspect to manage, we had to deal with excessive meteorological factors. Journalists echo an “exceptional” vintage for Burgundy wines, but how long will our vines be able to produce under these conditions?

Armand Heitz dans la parcelle Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Maltroie

The 2020 vintage in Burgundy is:

  • Extremely warm winter and spring temperatures, +3.7°C above normal in February and April
  • An extremely dry summer, -62% cumulative rainfall in the Côte d'Or in July/August
  • A heat wave from August 6 to 13 with two heat peaks
  • Regular yields between 40 and 55 hl/ha
  • Harvesting started at the end of August

A year that was too hot and too dry. Our vines and our terroirs have suffered extreme climatic conditions to which they are not accustomed. This resulted in a very short vegetative cycle and very early harvests.

Grappe de Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens millésime 2020 Armand Heitz

Despite a decent output of Pinot Noir grapes, yields were strongly impacted by the heat waves. When the balance between plant material and weather is no longer sustainable, you should not fight against the weather but simply adapt the plant material. After the vinification, we realized at the estate that despite unusual analyzes at harvest, the wines had nice balance and good intensity.

Thanks to solid oenological knowledge, we unfortunately manage to compensate for these climatic hazards in our wineries. But is that really what makes a vin de terroir? When at the end of such a vintage I hear talks about irrigation systems, I tell myself that the man has still not understood how to adapt to his terroir. Nature is well made and forgives us for many mistakes. Don't overdo it.

Discussion d'Armand Heitz avec deux moines cisterciens de l'abbaye de Cîteaux

New trading cuvées

Thanks to the Cistercian and Cluniac orders, Burgundy is the only wine-growing region in the world to have inherited a 1,000-year-old plot map. It was this richness that seduced me when I returned from Switzerland to bring the family estate back to life.

Each terroir has its own personality. Being able to vinify a new cuvée is like getting to know a new person. Are estate cuvées better than merchant cuvées? This debate does not interest me. Some bad winegrowers are sometimes more famous than good merchants and that's a shame.

Nouveautés et nouveau millésime Armand Heitz au Cellier à Pommard

The terroirs of Burgundy are governed by strict specifications. This regulation associated with sanitary selection has enormously smoothed the styles of viticulture. I think that only the ego of a winegrower associated with the credulity of journalists and customers can let imagine that it is possible to make a viticulture which results in significantly better grapes than that of the neighbor. We are all artisans of the soil, not magicians.

Our new references are intended to show our customers the different personalities of the terroirs that are expressed in Burgundy. Find all of our cuvées in our online boutique and in our Cellier à Pommard.

Armand Heitz

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