Above-average temperatures and an abundance of rain were the basic ingredients of the weather in 2000. The summer months were not as hot as usual, but the shortfall of warmth was more than compensated by the mild temperatures in spring and autumn. The year actually began with very cold weather and, although the sun shone for weeks on end, the stable high-pressure zone generated a constant flow of cold polar air to the Alps. In addition, not a single flake of snow or drop of rain fell in the first month of the year, a situation that continued into February. The weather remained very sunny but also turned mild, and only low nighttime temperatures prevented premature vegetation in the vines. It was not until the end of March that the long awaited precipitation set in and provided the vines with the water needed for the first phase of growth. April was its proverbially capricious and unsettled self, with sun and rain often alternating several times a day. But it was always warm, and the above-average spring temperatures continued into May. The warm weather was highly beneficial for growth in the vines, and by the beginning of summer the vegetation was a good week ahead of normal. June was a month of hot summer weather, whereas July brought a fair amount of precipitation followed by a cooler period. August, on the other hand, was very summery, with warm and dry weather up to the end of the month, when the temperatures sank in anticipation of the approaching autumn and the period of the wine harvest. The September offered ideal conditions for the harvest: The pronounced thermal excursion between day and night was perfect for the grapes, producing intensive coloring and optimum maturity. The harvest was held slightly earlier than usual, on warm and dry autumn days, and by the time a long rainy period came in October, the vintners already had the complete harvest in the cellars.