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Beautiful images capture frost response in Tuscan vineyard

A set of beautiful images from Tuscany capture the scale of work needed to protect valuable vines during the springtime frosts that struck southern Europe last week.

All lit up: Tuscany’s Tenuta di Trinoro. Credit: @enea_barbieri_photo

Sent to the drinks business this morning from Tuscany’s Tenuta di Trinoro were pictures showing vineyards lit up by candles during the nights of 7 and 8 April when temperatures fell to almost -5 degrees Celsius in this part of Italy.

Requiring a team of 36 vineyard workers, these fires were used to warm the vines during the two extreme nights of cold weather last week at this property, which is located in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia.

Burning bright: 3,000 candles protect the vines from severe frost. Credit: @enea_barbieri_photo

According to the estate, a wave of frost that had come down the Amiata and Cetona mountains above the property threatened the newly-sprouting buds on the vines, necessitating the entire viticultural team to light 3,000 candles, which they had placed along the rows during the day.

Working all night, the flames kept the plants above 0 degrees Celsius, protecting the newly-forming fragile vine buds from frost damage.

Temperatures dropped as low as -5 degrees Celsius in Tuscany on 7-8 April. Credit: @enea_barbieri_photo

Elsewhere in Italy, db has received news today that famous more northerly Italian wine regions Barolo and Barbaresco suffered little damage from this same frost episode.

In a statement, the regions said that late-budding varieties were not affected by frost, however, the flagship Nebbiolo grape has suffered some damage depending on the exact location of the vineyard.

A team of 36 people worked throughout the night to protect the vines. Credit: @enea_barbieri_photo

It has been said that the most affected vineyards are those planted at “medium altitude”, where bud burst had already taken place, although the damage was very limited among south-facing vineyards.

Overall, it appears this early spring frost has damaged a few vineyards and did not impact the whole production area – contrarily to what occurred in 2017, when late April frost affected more areas at all altitudes.

For now, this year’s crop has been saved by the pre-emptive actions at the Tuscan property. Credit: @enea_barbieri_photo

After a first inspection, the regions do not believe the vintage will suffer from a significant production drop due to recent freezing temperatures.

However, as previously reported by db, the impact of this same cold spell has been severe in France, with, Burgundy believed to have lost as much as 50% of its potential crop for this year’s harvest, as temperatures plunged to as low as -6 degrees Celsius on night of 7 April.

Read more

French vineyards hit by ‘worst frost in decades’

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