Temperatures continue to drop across France as more winemakers report concerns of frost damage in the vineyards.
The Inter Rhône trade body reported that the whole of the Rhône has been hit dramatically and that ‘some plots are affected 100%.’
‘We already know that some sectors have been affected in their entirety,’ said Philippe Pellaton, President of Inter-Rhône.
‘We will not be able to measure the real impact of this frost episode until the next 24 to 48 hours’.
The French council for appellation wines (CNIV) are concerned the worst is not yet over, stating that ‘temperatures have dropped to -7 ° C in places and further episodes of frost are to be feared in the days to come.’
‘It is still too early to know precisely the extent of the damage, but 80% of regions have been affected’, said Jean-Marie Barillère, President of the CNIV.
April 8th Frost
There were growing fears that frost may have caused significant damage to French vineyards in several regions this week.
Many winemakers have lit candles and controlled fires next to rows of vines in order to help protect the emerging 2021 crop from a sudden drop in temperatures. Aerial photos on social media showed hundreds of candles lit across vineyards.
Some producers also launched helicopters to fly above their vineyards, a method that can help to prevent frost by encouraging warm air to circulate.
There were particular concerns on Thursday (8 April) about vineyards in Bordeaux and Burgundy, although winemakers cautioned that the full picture was still unclear.
Bordeaux’s regional wine council, the CIVB, said damage was still being assessed but that ‘it is already certain that this spring frost will severely impact the volume of the 2021 harvest’.
‘Bourgogne winegrowers did what they could to fight, but each period of frost was too long and the temperatures were too low. Nature has been stronger than us.’