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Serious frosts hit Burgundy

A cold snap has seen severe frosts hit the entire length of Burgundy’s vineyards as well as other French regions – although the full extent of the damage is so far unknown.

Vines near Beaune this weekend, before the hard frosts of Tuesday and Wednesday

Temperatures plunged to below zero last night and this morning (27 April) leading growers in Burgundy and elsewhere in Europe to awake to an almost wintry landscape – if they hadn’t been up all night seeing to their candles and other anti-frost measures.

An initial report from the Burgundy interprofession (BIVB) to the drinks business explained that the phenomenon was “extremely” rare but that it affected vineyards across the entirety of Burgundy and that even vineyards that usually escape such freezes have been affected.

The higher vineyards in Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois appear to have been the worst affected, the north of the Côte de Beaune (Savigny, Chorey and down to Meursault, Pommard and Volnay) was also severely touched and apparently Marsannay in the Côte de Nuits.

There is concern for Rully and Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise while the Mâconnais, which saw hail hit 1,500 hectares of its vineyards last week, also had widespread frost this morning.

There have been other reports of equally severe frosts in the Loire, Languedoc and Abruzzo in Italy.

It should be stressed that the full extent of the damage is not yet known and that it will probably not be until next week that its full effects become clear.

News from winemakers in some areas though is not sounding hugely positive.

More to follow as the situation develops.

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