Strong spring frosts in some of the most famous wine regions of France, including Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, caused damage to the local production of at least 1 billion euros. Winemakers call this the biggest catastrophe in a quarter of a century.
The air temperature dropped below zero at the end of April, damaging the already well developed shoots due to the early warmth.
To save young sprouts, growers use heaters and install barrels where they plant fires directly on plantations with plants. However, despite all efforts, crop losses range from 20 to 100%.
“This is the worst frost since 1991,” Paul-Francois Vranken, CEO of Vranken Pommery Monopole, told Bloomberg, adding that winemakers are “concerned”.
April frosts were observed in all wine-growing regions of Europe, however France suffered most seriously.
According to the French Federation of Bordeaux wines, as many as 60% of the wine-growing areas of the Bordeaux region suffered from frost, resulting in a lower harvest of 2017 by 40%. Some entrepreneurs say that they have lost almost everything.
Champagne and Burgundy suffered less, but frosts in these regions are observed for the second consecutive year.