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Frost in the vineyard: Bordeaux people fear a "bitter" record

2021-04-07T14:22:30.618Z

Despite the means deployed to avoid them, the frosts at the start of the week and those to come are worrying Bordeaux winegrowers.



Negative temperatures having reached in places -5 degrees during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday made several appellations of Bordeaux fear a "

bitter

" report of the impact of the frost on the vineyard, even if the terrible toll of 2017 did not seem to be feared. at this stage.

Read also: In Alsace, "candles" to protect orchards from frost

Interprofessional as wine unions stressed that it was Wednesday too early to take stock of the impact on the harvest, especially as negative temperatures were still expected for the night from Wednesday to Thursday, and possibly next week.

The Graves, Entre-deux-Mers, Sud-Gironde (Sauternes and Barsac), the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux in particular have been affected, according to the first returns, but it is difficult to know yet in what proportions told AFP a spokesperson for the Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wine (CIVB).

"

It's a bit of a disaster, there are no spared areas

" in our appellation, said Mayeul L'Huillier, director of the Syndicat des vins de Graves, even though a number of wine growers still had to inspect the plots.

We have to see how nature will react, also see the impact of other frost episodes

” to come, he added.

In the Barsac (sweet) appellation, "

between 50 and 90% of the properties have undoubtedly been affected

", estimated Frédéric Nivelle, technical director of Château-Climens, premier grand cru classé where the weather station recorded -3.5 degrees at the end of the night.

During the night, however, many winegrowers deployed well-tried means to fight against frost candles between the vines, burnt straw, hot air blowers - and still had to do this the following night.

"

You can gain a few tenths of a degree, but when it reaches -5 -6, you can't do much,

" conceded Mr. L'Huillier.

Less catastrophic than in 2017

The impact should however not be "

not as catastrophic as in 2017

", when the frost episode was much later, at the very end of April, hitting out buds and more ripe by three additional weeks, underlines the CIVB.

Higher humidity was then an aggravating factor.

That year, one in five winegrowers in Bordeaux had lost more than 70% of their harvest, according to figures from the Chamber of Agriculture.

On average, the properties of the Sauternes-Barsac appellation had lost 50%.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-04-07

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