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Loire Valley's frost loss estimates hit an average of 30%

Published:  08 June, 2016

Following a meeting last month, Loire Valley vineyard owners and producers came together to asses the damage of frost that hit several wine producing regions across France in late April and estimate that 20- 30% of the harvest may be lost.

The meeting was held on May 20, 2016 and following a study carried out by the ODG, the winegrowers' federation and the Chambers of Agriculture expect overall losses to be 1.9 million hl for the 2016 harvest.

Some communes within the region are anticipating up to 80% losses.

"The situation is serious," said InterLoire president Gérard Vinet. The Loire Valley works on a 'just-in-time' basis, and it is imperative that we introduce a collective strategy to regulate sales."  

Loire Valley cellars have also been under pressure due to an increase in demand and wine stocks in the region at their lowest levels ever.

Despite the risk to supplies, the region has committed to trying to keep prices flat. Vinet said: "At a time when we are revitalising our image, making wines our consumers love and enjoying excellent market positioning,  the Loire Valley's wine professionals have rallied to find ways of supporting those Loire businesses which have been worst affected. Meanwhile we continue to respond favourably to demand."

Touraine, Nantais and Sarthe were the worst hit communes and are expected to report the largest amount of losses. Cabernet d'Anjou, Rosé-d'Anjou, Crémant-de-Loire and Vouvray are areas that have been less affected and are expected to be able to meet current demands.

The extent of the damage is not yet known as flowering, which happens at the end of June, has not yet taken place, but once that occurs there will be additional assessments.

The Presidents of the Loire Valley's Winegrowers' Federations reported: "Some areas have been very badly affected. The ODG stepped in quickly, setting up crisis centres in the worst-hit areas." 

FranceAgriMer and the Regions have pledged financial support for the study and provision of frost protection equipment and the Federations have approached public authorities and institutions regarding insurance, partial unemployment benefits for employees and financial concessions for 2017.