This spring has been the worst we have ever experienced in Paris. And in most parts of France, it has been as cold and rainy. We hope that the vines have not suffered too much damage. We guess that the flowering will be late in many parts of Europe and thus the harvest. But you can never be certain. The vines have an amazing ability to catch up.
Rain means muddy and soaked vineyards. In Provence, wine producers applied for permit to spray their vineyards by helicopter because it was too wet to go out with the tractor. In Bordeaux they also complain that they are behind with certain treatments like spraying with copper and sulphur against fungal diseases.
There is a lot of work to be done in the vineyard this time of the year. For instance what you call epamprage in French. It means taking away shots that will not give any fruit. This must be done before the flowering. If you cannot go out with the tractor in the vineyard you have to do this time consuming task by hand. Which probably means paying a lot of extra workers.
In Touraine in the Loire Valley the frost struck at the end of April. Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil were hit and also some areas east of Tours. In Montlouis some producers lost 30% of their buds. The frost hit at dawn with temperature of minus 3.5 degrees.
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