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France’s wine regions start counting the cost of April’s bitter frost damage
by L.M. Archer
There’s nothing new about an April frost in France, but precocious ripening of vine buds earlier on in the growing cycle is becoming increasingly common due to global warming. Combined, the two have had a devastating effect on wine producers throughout France. From Bourgogne to the Sud de France, vine growers grapple with the catastrophic effects of this frost event which began on April 5 and lasted up to three days. LM Archer talks to winemakers through the country and gets a snapshot of how some of the major wine regions have been affected, as they count the cost.
“There are winemakers who have lost everything from 2021. I already heard from one of my neighbours that he decided to quit this year. It’s too hard. The atmosphere is devastating, and terribly sad,” says Nea Berglund.
“C’est reparti,”posted Véronique Drouhin-Boss on Instagram April 5 . Her image, a hazy night sky, punctuated by hundreds of smudge pots flickering amidst frozen vineyards, foretold the unfolding “guerre de gel” in early April between Mother Nature and French vignerons. Estimated vine losses range from 50% to 100%, with final assessments still weeks away. Here, regional winegrowers share their impressions from the trenches.
Black Frost – Bourgogne
Frost arrived on April 5, hitting Chablis hard. ”The frost destroyed 80% of the crop, on average, with some parcels at 100%,” reports Julien Brocard of Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard in Préhy.
Throughout Bourgogne, financial impacts prove difficult to estimate. “My President[BIVB] François Labet told the AFP (Agence France-Presse) …that we may have lost more than 50% of the average production, but, frankly, we don’t know,” says Cécile Mathiaud, Head of PR for Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB). READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
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