In Côte d’Or in Burgundy this year, for the first time, a new method of frost control has been used. The burning of straw bales. Many of them. Maurice Chapuis at Domaine Chapuis in Aloxe-Corton explains why:
“They are setting fire to the straw bales at around four o’clock in the morning. They do it not so much for the sake of heating the vineyard. It is for the smoke. Because the smoke from the fire forms a cloud over the vineyard, thus softening the sun’s rays as it rises. The first rays of the sunshine can burn the buds that are frozen during the night. ”
In the last days of April we saw a huge amount of straw bales placed around the vineyards of Côte d’Or. For a couple of nights, tons of bales were burned and the smoke was noticeable all the way into Beaune where we stayed.
Did it help?
Yes, it did, at least in part.
Here you can see a short video of frost fighting with hay bales:
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