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Chile's Chardonnay crop badly hit by frost

Published:  17 February, 2014

Chile's Chardonnay crop has been decimated following September's spring frost, according to Ricardo Baettig, chief winemaker at Chile's Viña Morandé.

Speaking to, Baettig said it would harvest 60 to 70% less Chardonnay following the unprecedented frost in Casablanca.

"For the first time on records there was a spring frost in September in Casablanca. It usually happens in October and we are prepared for that. But there was a mass of cold air and there were temperatures of -5 or -6°C that was almost impossible to fight. It happened three times in three weeks in September and almost destroyed at least the Chardonnay crop."

But he stressed that the Chardonnay grapes it did have were "good quality". Pinot Noir grapes were also affected, he said, but Cabernet Sauvignon escaped unscathed. He said that some badly-affected vineyards would drop out of the 2014 harvest and concentrate on preparing for the 2015 vintage as a result.

Simon Doyle, general manager for Concha y Toro UK, recently told that grape quality for the 2014 harvest looked good, although there was an issue with frost which may have impacted on Chardonnay plantings more than other varieties. But Doyle stressed that it would still have sufficient quantities to meet UK objectives. "Availability looks good - we will be able to fulfil our plans," he said. 

If you've been affected by Chile's spring frost, let us know by commenting below, emailing or via Twitter @harperswine.