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Extreme heatwave threatens vineyards in France

Just two weeks after growers in France were dealing with hailstones bigger than golf balls, a record pre-summer heatwave is spreading across the country, leaving vineyards with yet another challenge to contend with.

According to the Meteo France weather service, the current heatwave spreading across the nation from Spain is the earliest hot spell ever to hit the country, with temperatures in some areas hitting 40C late last week.

Droughts have also raised the prospect of wildfires, the weather service said.

In Bordeaux, the Sauternes Fête le Vin was cancelled over the risks posed by the extreme heat, and most of France was under heatwave alert last week into the weekend.

The city also installed misting devices on its hottest areas, according to France24.

“Be alert! Hydrate, stay in cool areas, and stay in touch with those close to you,” tweeted Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

As late as Monday 20 June, parts of Southwestern France were hit with hailstorms once more, according to The Connexion France news website.

Dr of agrometeorology Serge Zaka tweeted, “After having suffered a late freezing episode (in April), drought (from January), [crop] dehydration (in May), hail (at the beginning of June) and the heatwave (in mid-June), farmers are going to go through another hail episode.”

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