April 24, 2017

Frost Hits French Vineyards

Dear Roy,

[In response to severe July 10th hail in Beaujolais].

So far everything is okay. We’re crossing our fingers every vintage! Frost damage was negligible, no hail damage yet, good yields, disease pressure low. Life is good.

Thanks for your concern. Have a great summer!

Cheers,
Kerrie de Boissieu

Château de Lavernette
Wednesday, July 12

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Dear Roy,

It’s been very warm and the vines have grown very, very fast! For the last week, it has been less hot and raining. We risk having a little bit of mildew, but for so far it has not appeared. At any rate, any future damage will be minimal since the grapes are past the period of big sensibility.

As far as the frost, we have had considerable damage. The insurance company estimated 85% loss, or a harvest at 10 hl/ha. But the vines put out more grapes after the frost and we expect to end up with a harvest around 20 hl/ha. It is not a lot, but at least it is better than we thought two months ago! We are in a complicated period for the last several years.

Thanks for asking for news. I hope sales are going well!

Pierrick Laroche
Domaine des Hâtes
Monday, July 3

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Dear Roy,

We estimate the balance sheet in terms of loss due to frost this year at between 50 and 60%. Way too much, of course, but we are hoping that the season will be beautiful in order to have a super quality.

Stéphanie Caslot
Domaine de la Chevalerie
Monday, June 12

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Dear Roy,

We were affected “a little” [by the frost]: 15-20%. It could have been a lot worse, so philosophically I am rather happy.

There are still a few days of frost to worry about (until May 25 if you follow the moon as the ancients did). Then, we can be worry-free as far as frost but will still have hail, storms and diseases to worry about–in total, all the normal things!!

Have a good day.

Bertrand Lilbert
Champagne Lilbert Fils
Champagne Lilbert Fils
Tuesday, May 9

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Dear Roy,

Effectively, the northern part of Chablis was very affected [by frost] and Pierrick [Laroche of Domaine des Hâtes] as well as others of my winegrowing friends lost a large part of the future harvest…another terrible catastrophe!

At Chichée, it is less serious….on the order of 5 to 10% depending on the place. Nothing too serious so far….but the road is still long until harvest. The stress is heavy.

We are getting better at managing problems with all the different maladies but not so much climatic vagaries.

Thanks for your concern.

Didier Picq
Domaine Gilbert Picq et ses Fils
Saturday, May 6

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Dear Roy,

Thanks for asking about our news. In fact, the worst of the frost for us arrived on Thursday, April 20 with temperatures that got as low as -7° [19.4 Fahrenheit] in certain places. Unfortunately, the losses were significant for us. As of today, about 85% of the harvest is lost. That is to say that the yield should be about 10 hl/hectare like last year. Maligny seems to be the area the worst hit.

I have not been in contact with Didier [Picq] recently, but I hope that his losses are much less.

Pierrick Laroche
Domaine des Hâtes
Thursday, May 4

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Dear Roy,

Domaine Richou was subjected to three successive waves of frost in one week:
– Le Clos des Rogeries (Chenin, 4ha20) was damaged 95%.
– The parcel of Savennières ‘La Bigottière’ (Chenin, 1ha28) was damaged 60 to 70%.
– The parcel Champ de Pie (Chenin, 1 ha) was damaged 95%.
– 1.5 ha of Cabernet Franc at 60%.
– 2 ha of Chenin (Les Violettes and Le Grand Vau) at 10%.

The rest of the vines were not affected.

Les 4 Chemins, le Champ de la Pierre, Les Chateliers and l’Anjou-Villages Brissac were very little affected.

We estimate our losses at about 20-25% of the totality of the vineyard. We hope that we will not have any more climatic occurrences between now and the next harvest.

Didier and Damien Richou
Domaine Richou
Thursday, May 4

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Dear Roy,

I hope all is well with you. We [in Montlouis] had frost once again but much less for the moment. I think that 20% of the buds were destroyed last week.

Xavier Weisskopf
Le Rocher des Violettes
Tuesday, May 2

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Dear Roy,

Yes, the whole West of France was hit – poor Stéph [Stéphanie Caslot, Domaine de la Chevalerie] and Séb [Sébastien Branger, Claude Branger].

We avoided this second wave of frost, ouf! Sunday we visited all the plots: we probably have 15-20% of loss, with biggest damages in the Muscat and one plot of Gewurz. To be positive, and compared to colleagues, we still have limited loss.

Mélanie Pfister
Domaine Pfister
Tuesday, May 2

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Dear Roy,

Frost damage is now around 30-35% [in Pierry, Champagne]. But we need rain now, the soils are so dry, it looks like 2003 or 2011. I will keep you posted.

Jean-Marc Sélèque
Champagne J-M Sélèque
Tuesday, May 2

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Dear Roy,

For the frost… We are severely affected [in Nantes in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine] between 60% and 70%.

Sébastien Branger
Claude Branger
Monday, May 1

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Dear Roy,

As for the frost… We were again touched [in Bourgueil], probably something like in 2013…that means around 70%. Very hard to stay positive for the moment.

Stéphanie Caslot
Domaine de la Chevalerie
Monday, May 1

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Dear Roy,

Here [in Alsace] 2017 starts badly, with that serious frost from last week… It is still too early to evaluate precisely the damages, but we lost crop, for sure. Even my father, within 50 years, had never seen such a thing. And the frost hit unexpected plots, like a slope facing South. There was no wind blowing that night, so that the cool air just laid on the vines. And because vines were 2 weeks earlier than normal, damages are worse. Well, we escaped from hail and frost last year, and we know it is a risk. But it is still really annoying.

Mélanie Pfister
Domaine Pfister
Wednesday, April 26

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Dear Roy,

With many other vine growing areas of France, Champagne has not escaped the frosts of last week, and our Domain has been seriously impacted. As of today, we estimate that we have lost 2/3 of our production in the Côte des Blancs and 1/3 in the Grande Vallée de la Marne.

We are still very concerned about the weather because the forecasts are not good: rain is expected on 25/26 April and will be followed by a second severe frost with temperatures down to -5 degrees Centigrade on 27 April.

We will come back to you with more information as to the final extent of the damage after the next few days.

Jean-Hervé & Laurent Chiquet
Champagne Jacquesson
Tuesday, April 25

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Dear Roy,

The night is over and temperatures should rise. In the Mâconnais nothing to report, but yesterday we had not such good news from several colleagues: the Jura vineyards in the Bugey, Champagne by sector, the plains of Colmar, Chablis, Sancerre Quincy, Cahors, and the little vineyards of Tarn Cotes d’Auvergne were all affected by frost.

We live in a crazy world and even the weather is a part of it. In effect, on Sunday we have to choose a president. For Alain and me, it is the first time we have no idea for whom to vote. We have to make a good choice to avoid extremes and craziness.

Well, let’s not be depressed. To keep up one’s morale there is nothing better than a good glass of wine!

Sylvaine Normand
Domaine Alain et Sylvaine Normand
Friday, April 21