Fire and ice in Monterey and Barolo

Summer hailstorms have wreaked havoc in Barolo causing damage to top sites in the northern Italian region, while a fire continues to blaze in Monterey.

fire and ice As reported by Wine Spectator, the storms struck the Langhe in Piedmont last Tuesday and Wednesday (26-27 July) thrashing ripening grapes with hail. Tuesday’s storm was the stronger of the two due to “tornado-like” high winds that affected large parts of the Barolo and Montefarrato regions.

Vineyards in the beautiful region of Barolo have been hit by hail

Vineyards in the beautiful region of Barolo have been hit by hail

Isabella Oddero of Oddero told WS that the estate had lost 20% of its Nebbiolo, Riesling and Chardonnay grapes on the San Biagio hill in La Morra and 30% of its grapes from Bricco Chiesa near the winery.

Oddero’s vines in Brunate, Bussia and Rocche di Castiglione are protected by netting and thus were able to weather the storm. At Braida estate near Nizza in Monferrato, five hectares of Barbera grapes were destroyed near Castelnuovo Calcea.

Growers in the Langhe are increasingly protecting themselves against the ongoing threat of hail via nets on their vines. Fortunately, Nebbiolo is a late-ripening variety, so at the time the hail hit, many of the grapes were not ripe enough to be severely damaged.

“I just did my check on all my plots and I am quite happy,” Giacomo Conterno of Poedere Aldo Conterno told Wine Spectator. “Some grapes were hit, so there will be slightly less quantity,” he added.

Over in the US, an uncontrollable wildfire has been threatening vineyards in Monterey County, California. Over 5,000 fire fighters have been battling the blaze that started in Big Sur on 22 July.

Vineyards in the Carmel Valley are under threat, with Barnardus Vineyards & Winery having been “bathed in smoke” according to Wine-Searcher.

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