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Frost hits between 30% and 50% of Bordeaux

Published:  22 April, 2021

Bordeaux has had variable impact from early April’s devastating frosts, Harpers has learned, with estimates sitting at around 30% to 50% of vines affected, while some estates have “lost everything”.

According to the CIVB, Bordeaux’s regional body, “Between 30% and 50% of the vineyards in Bordeaux have been affected by the frost, with the level of damage varying from vineyard to vineyard”.

In line with France’s other regions, while some vineyards have only suffered slightly, others have been heavily impacted across the crop with some areas experiencing 100% loss.

It is possible that Bordeaux has been insulated somewhat thanks to its polyculture of grape varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon develops later, for example.

In a statement sent to Harpers, a CIVB spokesperson said: “The impact depends on the location of the vineyard, the stage the pruning was at (the vines that had not yet been pruned or the vines that are not bent have been less affected) and the varietals. The concern is really whether the buds will be able to recover.”

In the OIV’s State of the Vitivinicultural World presentation this week, director general Pau Roca said he stood in solidarity with France’s wine regions, which have been some of the hardest hit across Europe, along with others such as Italy and Spain. He, alongside other leading figures such as French president Emmanuel Macron, have called for accelerated action on climate change in order to tackle the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events.

“We are working closely with national and local organisations to coordinate support measures. These include working towards the total exemption of social security contributions for those affected, the extension of state loan repayments and borrowing annuities, land tax exemptions on vineyards with no buildings, and starting conversations with insurance companies whose cover for winegrowers is often inadequate,” the CIVB said.

Photo by Gavin Quinney