Terrible frost strikes vineyards across Europe
From various news sources
28 April 2017
It is very sad to see the news unfold across many parts of Europe, where winegrowers faced a cold weather pattern in recent days that has killed young buds from just emerging vines.
Three weeks ago, I was in Bordeaux admiring early bud development, for example, from Petrus in Pomerol, to Marquis de Terme in the Médoc.
Bud-break seemed normal, with initially mild temperatures that accelerated vine vegetation, and formation of bunches seemed at a precocious pace, according to vintners on location.
But since yesterday, e-mails are flooding in from worried vintners across Europe, as well as in Facebook posts.
Anne Le Naour, technical director for Château Meyney in Saint Estèphe, yesterday posted “Triste nuit (Sad night). P… d’année en 7 (fuc… years ending in 7), referring to the cold snap – and the series of lesser vintages since 1957, ending in 7.
As The Wine Spectator reported, vintners are “employing candles, sprinklers, wind turbines and even helicopters to save their crops.”
In a press release concerning the freezing, Château Angélus, put a brave face to the widespread damage, even if 80% of the estate’s vines for the grand vin have not been affected: “If we look back over the history of our region, we are reminded that if a spring frost affects the abundance of the harvest, it does not necessarily reduce quality. The glorious vintages of 1945 and 1961, when the initial weather conditions were similar to what we have just experienced, are two shining examples.”
“Unfortunately,” reported Château Angélus, “the wine region of Bordeaux was severely hit by frost during the nights of the 26th and 27th April, Angélus included.”
In a report from Decanter, Yohan Castaing noted the damage across France and also parts of Germany, Italy and Switzerland “after several nights that felt more like January than late April.”