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Frost: Burgundy and Rhône Valley wines fear a dark year

2021-04-09T13:04:48.386Z

Struck by an exceptional episode of frost, the winegrowers of Burgundy and the Rhone Valley drew up with fear a first assessment on Friday that could, in places, go as far as an almost total loss of the harvest. Read also: InVivo redoubles its ambitions in wine “ This will be the smallest Côtes du Rhône harvest in the last 40 years ”: Philippe Pellaton, president of Inter-Rhône, estimates the lo



Struck by an exceptional episode of frost, the winegrowers of Burgundy and the Rhone Valley drew up with fear a first assessment on Friday that could, in places, go as far as an almost total loss of the harvest.

Read also: InVivo redoubles its ambitions in wine

This will be the smallest Côtes du Rhône harvest in the last 40 years

”: Philippe Pellaton, president of Inter-Rhône, estimates

the losses suffered on the nearly 68,000 hectares of this terroir

at “

around 80% to 90%

” .

The phenomenon has affected almost the entire territory, which is very rare.

Normally, we have much more localized episodes of frost

, ”adds the manager, who is alarmed:“

the winegrowers are devastated, slaughtered

”.

Between Brexit, Trump taxes or the Covid, that's a lot for us, small wine growers.

For the less financially sound, it will be very complicated,

”confirms Michaël Gerin, president of the Côte-Rôtie appellation, who estimates his production losses at“

80, or even 100%

”.

Many of us are uninsured.

It is often too expensive.

The declaration of the state of agricultural calamity is a first step but we will have to go beyond

”, he adds.

I don't think we've seen that since 1938,

” adds Christophe Pichon, president of the Condrieu appellation.

The situation is no better in Burgundy (28,841 hectares of vines), and in particular for the prestigious appellation Chablis (Yonne).

The damage is between "

80 and 90%

", estimates Frédéric Gueguen, of the office of the Federation for the defense of the Chablis appellation.

"

I fear that there are certain farms which do not recover from it

", warns the wine grower, who thinks of pulling up part of his vineyard to "

return to food crops

".

On the whole of wine-growing Burgundy, "

we have at least 50% damage

", assesses François Labet, president of the Interprofessional Bureau of Burgundy Wines (BIVB).

It could be worse than 2016

”, when the region's vines were affected by up to 70% depending on the area.

In 2016, we only had a blizzard.

This time, we had three nights of severe frost,

”explained Mr. Labet.

Change everything?

"

We can see a fairly significant extent of damage

," agrees Ludivine Griveau, manager of the 60 hectares of vines at the Hospices de Beaune (Côte d'Or).

We feel discouragement.

There are some who are fed up with being a winegrower,

”adds Ms. Griveau.

The south of Burgundy has suffered particularly, with -8 ° in Igé (Saône-et-Loire), underlines Thomas Canonier, wine advisor at Vinipôle Sud-Bourgogne.

It is historic by the intensity of the frost and the extent of the affected areas: no one has been spared in Saône-et-Loire.

It's exceptional,

”he says, attributing this phenomenon to climate change.

Temperatures are "

milder in winter

" so the vines bud more quickly, well before the risk of frost has passed, he explains.

Visiting the famous Pouilly-Fuissé appellation, Prefect Julien Charles assured him that he would "

deploy everything possible in the short and long term to get through this delicate phase

".

But the agricultural calamity regime is "

very a posteriori

", believes François Labet, of the Burgundian inter-profession.

"

What interests us is the a priori: we should rather tackle the problem than solve it a posteriori

".

Read also: Our selection of ultra-gourmet wines for less than 25 euros

This new episode of frost should push the winegrowers to "

a global and collective reflection

", agrees Ms. Griveau.

We are talking about frost in April and in June we will talk about drought!

We have to change everything, modify our production conditions and quickly

”.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-04-09

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