It has been a cold spring throughout Europe. So cold that frost has caused damage in most European wine countries, in the north as well as in the south. For many wine growers, this is the worst spring frost they have ever experienced. But frost, like hail, is very local. During our trips in April and May we have encountered those who suffered damages in up to 70% of their vineyards and those who have not suffered at all.
It was a sad sight to see some vineyards. One day they were beautifully green and lush, next day every leaf was brown and withered. During sleepless nights, the wine growers did of course what they could to protect, at least their most valuable vineyards. In France, it is mainly the northern regions that have the equipment to protect. Water is sprayed; helicopters are used to circulate the air, candles and oil-burning heaters warm up the vines. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
Photo: vine hit by the frost. Here you can see a video of a vine that has been frost struck:
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