In The Guardian, we learn about the the destruction of wine crops and vines. It’s the worst they have seen in decades and most are uninsured for frost. The Guardian writes (abridged):
French Wine Winemakers across France are counting the cost of several nights of frost this week that threaten to decimate grape harvests in some of the country’s best-known and prestigious wine-producing regions.
The government is readying an emergency rescue package after rare freezing temperatures that could cause some of the worst damage in decades to crops and vines.
From Bordeaux to Burgundy and the Rhône Valley to Champagne, winemakers were out in their fields on Friday inspecting the destruction.
“It breaks like glass because there’s no water inside,” said Dominique Guignard, a winemaker in the Graves area near Bordeaux, as he rubbed the first shoots on his vines.
“It’s completely dried out, there’s no life inside,” said Guignard, who heads a group of producers in Graves, which is known for its robust red wine.
Many industry experts say the damage from temperatures of up to -6C may be the worst in decades, partly because the frost followed unseasonably warm weather last week.
“It’s a national phenomenon,” said Jérôme Despey, the secretary general of the FNSEA farming union and a winemaker in the Hérault region. “You can go back in history, there have been [freezing] episodes in 1991, 1997, 2003 but in my opinion it is beyond all of them.”
In the Rhône Valley, the head of the local wine producers’ body, Philippe Pellaton, said it would be “the smallest harvest of the last 40 years”, with losses of 80-90% compared with normal.
Winemakers are “shattered, desperate”, he said, with the Côte-Rôtie area particularly badly hit ( My favorite wine in the world and rare in a good year)
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