Overview about the 2022 vintage


Saturnalia collects, processes and analyses data – mainly from satellites – to deliver insights for the fine wines industry.

More than ever, accessing punctual and detailed analyses of vintages is becoming a valuable asset . Our reports represent an introduction to our world. The reader may enjoy even deeper information by accessing our platform, including details on single wines.

The report first provides a general overview on the entire Bordeaux area. A deep dive into each AOC follows (download for free the whole report to learn about them).

If you desire to dig deeper into our data sources, what’s their meaning and how we leverage them please refer to Appendix 1.

List of appellations in Bordeaux

  • Saint-Estèphe AOC

  • Saint-Julien AOC

  • Pauillac AOC

  • Margaux AOC

  • Pessac-Léognan AOC

  • Pomerol AOC

  • Saint-Émilion AOC

  • Sauternes

  • Barsac

General overview

“Summer 2022 — a season marked again by historic heat waves, widespread drought and torrential rains — ranks among the hottest on record, according to data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)” [Washington Post] [1]

“The severe drought affecting many regions of Europe since the beginning of the year has been further expanding and worsening as of early August. Dry conditions are related to a wide and persistent lack of precipitation combined with a sequence of heatwaves from May onwards” [Global Drought Observatory] [2]

“A ‘very promising’ vintage is expected, said the regional wine council (CIVB), as the Bordeaux 2022 harvest gets underway for reds.” [Decanter] [3]

2022 was by any means exceptional. Let’s have a look at some numbers to get an in-depth understanding.

  • A very warm and dry vintage overall
  • Rain (on average): 825 mm, 7% less than normal (with peaks of -12% in some regions)
  • Average temperatures surpassing the average of the last 10 years 83 times from May to August
  • Saturnalia Evolution Index showing persistent stress and Saturnalia Variation Index distribution similar to 2020
  • General: very challenging vintage, with expected issues both in quality and quantity.
  • Our expectations
    • High alcohol and less perfumed wines
    • Very concentrated

Rainfall comparison

The keyword for most of Europe this year was drought. And this is reflected in the trends that we see from the data.

Rain in January and February was missing, compromising the key accumulation of reserves in winter. Moreover, another long period of drought was recorded from July until September. The distribution of rain (Figure 2) was very different from the average of the last 10 years.

Further investigation on daily precipitation in June showed two intense – but discontinuous – events – and therefore less beneficial in restoring water in the soil.

Temperatures comparison

2022 has been reported as one of the hottest years in recent history. The growing degree days (GDD) chart shows exceptional warm days, especially from May to August. Moreover, by observing the GDD curve you may notice a sudden increase in temperatures in May instead of a gradual accumulation.

The difference in temperatures is even more evident by looking at maximum, average and minimum temperatures compared with their respective 10-year averages. For example, notice the sudden jump in temperatures in May, symptom of an early summer. From July onwards, temperatures have been constantly above average. The chart below shows the diurnal variation recorded during the season: most of the values are below average.

These numbers contribute to defining a picture of the trend for the season: very high daily temperatures, followed by warm nights are not ideal for the development of phenolics features in the grapes. The lack of water, as stated before, further worsened the production with expected low quantity and high concentrations.

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