Champagne Feeling the Frostbite as Low Temperatures Pose Risk of Shortage
Frost in Champagne have producers facing a tough reality as severe cold weather impacted the region’s vineyards for a second year in a row.
Some vineyards have seen destruction of up to 50% of the potential 2017 harvest due to a violent drop in temperatures last week, with prolonged lows of minus six degrees.
Because of similar weather conditions last year, this means that reserves were already low, which has put Champagne producers under pressure.
Specialist wine magazine Decanter reported that Champagne Roederer estimated looses of 15% to 40% across its different vineyards, while Champagne Tarlant is calculating a devastating potential loss of 70%. To assess the real damage, they’ll need to week until the end of this week.
Champagne (and Burgundy) hasn’t been the only region affected by frost in France over the last few days, even southern areas such as the Loire Valley and Languedoc-Roussillon and the eastern Jura region felt the bite of unusually cold weather.
Wine growers are resorting to wind machines, water sprinklers, heaters and burning oil drums to mitigate the effects of the cold.
The situation has been compared with 2003, a year in which frost in Champagne and extreme weather conditions decimated vineyards. Temperatures descended to minus eleven degrees in April (fatal for the vine) and hailstorms reduced harvest to a minimum.
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