Ran into it here:
Looks like French Wines just took a hit. Maybe it’s time to buy wine futures ;-)
French winemakers deploy candles, heaters and helicopters to save vines from frost
Vineyards report temperatures plunged in Champagne, Bordeaux damaging shoots already well-developed because of earlier mild weather
Sharp spring frosts are damaging production in some of France’s most famous winemaking regions, including Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, posing a threat to growers’ incomes.
Vineyards report temperatures plunged in all three regions last week, sometimes to below -7C (19°F), hurting shoots already well-developed because of earlier mild weather, and growers fear a new cold snap could cause more damage.
“All areas of the Champagne are hit to very varying degrees,” said Thibaut Le Mailloux from the Champagne Committee (CIVC) industry group. “It’s too early to estimate the extent of the damage, but the frost impact is worse than last year’s”.
France’s total wine output fell 10% last year due to adverse weather conditions. Champagne was the worst hit, with the harvest down more than 20% on the previous year due to spring frosts followed by other problems such as mildew.
CIVC said that on average 20 to 25% of vine shoots had been destroyed in Champagne by Tuesday, against 14% last year. That estimate did not take into account potential damage from overnight frosts in the past two days.
In the Bordeaux region, farm unions estimated that several thousand hectares of vineyards across the region, out of a total of 115,000ha, had been hit by last week’s frosts, with some experiencing damage between 50 and 100%.
“Today we are likely seeing the most important freeze since 1991. And there are more frosts forecast for the coming night,” Patrick Vasseur, vice chairman of the FDSEA33, the local branch of France’s largest farm union FNSEA, said.
The French have records from the wine growing regions going back generations. We have returned to the more variable weather of the cold cycle. Expect more water damage events and more frost damage after budding; as was known in past cold cycles.