Bordeaux | Violent hailstorms have ravaged parts of the Bordeaux wine region in France, causing major damage in hundreds of vineyards and destroying thousands of hectares of vines, producers said on Monday.
This comes just a year after the region suffered one of its worst harvests in history with a fall of 39% due to late frosts, which led to a rise in prices.
The hail first hit the south of the region on Saturday, affecting the Pessac-Leognan region and the south of Medoc, home to some of the region’s most famous chateaux, said Bernard Farges, head of Bordeaux producers’ union CIVB.
It then devastated vineyards of Cotes de Bourg and Cotes de Blaye on the right bank of the Gironde River and, further east, in the Gensac and Pessac-sur-Dordogne regions.
The vineyard of Cognac was also damaged. Officials mention an initial figure of 10,000ha affected out of a total of 70,000ha. They had also been affected by frosts in 2017.
"The figures, which will have to be refined, show that between 500 and more than 1,000 wine growers have been affected with an area hit of 1,000ha in the Medoc, between 4,000ha and 5,000ha for Cote de Blaye and Cote de Bourg and about 1,000ha in the vicinity of Gensac," Farges said.
Some wine makers lost 100% of their harvest, he said.
There are 112,000ha of vines in the entire Bordeaux vineyard, the second-largest wine producing region in France after Languedoc Roussillon.
In 2017 France’s total production fell due to poor weather, including spring frosts, drought and storms that affected the growing regions, including Bordeaux and Champagne.
Bordeaux wine prices increased 16% in the first six months of the 2017-18 season, farm ministry data released in March showed.
By Agency Staff
May 28, 2018
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