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Tag Archives | weather

Frost bitten vines in springtime

Can a tarpaulin over the vines protect against frost?

The spring frost has struck again in several places in France. Warm spring weather led to an early budding but then the weather changed again, as it usually does. In the Loire Valley, they are now experimenting with a new way of protecting their vines from spring frost, which can potentially cause major damage. The […]

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Drip irrigation in a vineyard in Chile

How best to irrigate a vineyard

If drought is a recurring feature of the weather, then the wine growers become experts in handling it. This is the case, for example, in South Africa. Here they have learned how to optimize irrigation so that the vines get exactly what they need and not one drop more. Heinrich Schloms is a soil scientist […]

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Child's feet in water

Disastrous floods in Languedoc

Heavy rain and floods of a rare violence in the department of Aude In Languedoc in mid-October caused major damage to vineyards and wineries, in particular in the Minervois and Cabardes appellations and, to a lesser extent, in Saint Chinian. 14 people died. Several wine cellars were flooded, pumps and presses have been destroyed and […]

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A rainy day in Lisbon

Finally, it rains in South Africa

It’s winter in South Africa and it’s raining, at last. A relief, but more rain is needed, says DP Burger, winemaker at Glenwood in Franschhoek, and others we have heard from. The draught in Western Cape, where the wine regions are, have long been a serious problem, but the situation is now improving. The water […]

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Nets to protect vines from hail in Chablis, Burgundy

Hail nets are now permitted in France

Wine producers in France are now allowed to use vertical hail nets. After three years of experiments in Burgundy, the INAO has decided that the nets do not affect the maturity or quality of the grapes. The background is that in recent year hail has caused extensive damage and lost harvests in several wine regions. […]

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A rainy day in Lisbon

Hail storms again, and rain

A very violent hailstorm with huge hailstones hit Bordeaux on May 26th. It is as yet unclear how many hectares of vineyards have been affected, but probably at least a few thousand in southern Médoc, Bourg, Blaye and in Charente, the Cognac region. Vines that would have been in bloom the following week have now […]

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Vine pruned in winter in water

Rain and rain and rain in Bordeaux causes problems

It doesn’t stop raining in Bordeaux. As spring progresses, wine producers face problems. It is difficult to drive the tractor and to walk in a wet and muddy vineyard. This is inconvenient for those growers who mechanically remove the weeds. Maintenance in the vineyard, such as replacing the poles that hold up the wires, is […]

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Douro landscape and vineyards a rainy and sunny day

Climate change in the vineyards, is it a problem?

In late October, a conference called Tasting Climate Change was held in Canada. The subject was the impact of climate change on wine growing. An important question asked was: is it justifiable to plant vines where they have to be irrigated? Undoubtedly an interesting question. We asked ourselves approximately the same question when we wrote […]

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A barrel cellar tunnel at Bodegas Roda in Rioja

Viti-tunnel may reduce need for spraying

Ten Bordeaux chateaux will in 2018 and 2019 try out a new way to reduce the spraying in the vineyard. They will protect their vines against rain by installing in their vineyard a Viti-tunnel. This is a new invention. The tunnel is a transparent rain cover for the vines that automatically folds out when it […]

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Forest fire damage in Stellenbosch, South Africa

South Africa’s harvest hit by the drought

There is a severe water shortage at the moment in South Africa’s wine regions. The harvest 2018 will probably be the smallest in ten years. The South Africans begin picking their grapes in February. The irrigation dams in Western Cape, where most of the wine regions are located, are just 30 % full compared to […]

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Forest fire damage in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Horrible forest fires in Portugal and Spain

Portugal and Spain have also been hit hard by forest fires, just like the fires in California. A dry and hot October made it easy for fires to start. When the hurricane Ophelia came, the result became catastrophic. 45 people are believed to have died and the material damage is high. It was mainly northern […]

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Forest fire damage in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Violent wildfires in California’s wine regions

Around 40 people died in very extensive fires north of San Francisco in mid-October. Wine regions like Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino were affected and the fires caused damage to a large number of wine estates. It was mainly buildings that were either completely destroyed or damaged. Estimates say that around 85% of the grapes had […]

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Winter in the Rhone Valley

Keep an eye on the weather and limit your spraying

Most (all?) wine growers today aim for less spraying in the vineyard. Regardless of the products you use when spraying. There are various preventive measures that facilitate this goal. For example, keeping an eye on the weather. To do this, a weather station will help. The company Cooptain has recently installed eight weather stations in […]

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Vine burned by the frost in Languedoc

The worst spring frost in a very long time

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 […]

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Hail destroys vineyards in Languedoc

A violent hailstorm caused great damage in among others the Pic Saint Loup and Grès de Montpellier appellations in Languedoc on 17 August. Grapes from hundreds of hectares were completely destroyed. The vines afterwards were completely naked, not a single leaf or grape bunch remained. Some growers lost their entire harvest and the Pic Saint […]

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Frost in northern France

It has been a cold spring in northern France. For growers in Chablis and the Côte d’Or this turned into something really bad during the night between April 26 and 27. It was a frosty night that affected virtually all vineyards in the two regions. How big the damage will be is still uncertain, but […]

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Hail in Burgundy, again

Hailstorms have again, a little while back, destroyed a part of the future harvest 2016 for growers in Beaujolais and Mâconnais. It was on the 13th and 14th of April that some villages, including Solutré-Pouilly in Macon and Juliénas and Saint-Amour in Beaujolais, saw their still very tiny buds getting injured by violent and large […]

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Stormy weather in July

Burgundy suffered from disastrous hail storms on July 23. In the Côte de Beaune some wineries have had their entire vineyard destroyed. The agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll were quick to announce that victims would receive tax credits to meet the financial shortfall. 1350 hectares around the town of Beaune were affected by the storm, […]

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Rain, wind and hail. Then heat and more hail.

The bad spring turned into a cold, rainy and windy early summer in France. Hail, storms and even small tornadoes have occurred. Some regions have suffered worse than others. For example, Vouvray in the Loire valley was hit by devastating hail combined with extremely strong wind on the morning of June 17. A large part […]

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A lone tree an a dry field a hot day

The EU’s wine production 2011: Favourable and not so favourable heat

We read on www.vitisphere.com that the European Union has published figures concerning the EU wine production in 2011.  Total volume produced within the union in 2011 was 165 million hectolitres (an increase by 1.5 % from 2010). 39 % of the production is wine with the highest classification (Appellation d’Origine Protegée, Denominazione di Origine Protetta […]

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