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Mildew impacts the Rhône Valley

Issues with weather have continued across French vineyards with the Rhône also being hit across almost all of the wine-producing areas this year.

According to Vitisphere, all of the plots of Grenache were hit with mildew in the Southern Rhône Valley.

It said that the vineyards which had applied sprays before the heavy rain at the beginning of April had been saved, but those who hadn’t taken action had outbreaks of mildew.

Further spells

When further spells of rain hit in May, it added to the issue, with wine advisor for the Vaucluse Chamber of Agriculture Rémi Vandamme has seen mildew in all the plots he visited “from Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Valréas”, it said.

In addition, winegrower Xavier Tronc told the publication that mildew was “worse than 2008 and 2018”.

He said: “I believe we’ve lost 100,000 hectolitres of Côtes-du-Rhône, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages and Côtes du Rhône Crus.”

But at present it would appear the pressure is mainly on Grenache and hasn’t impacted other grape varieties badly, which are “faring better” according to viticulture consultants Mélanie Choppin and Mathilde Joumas at the Cooperative Wine Institute.


The news comes as spring’s wet and warm weather caused an “early and very virulent” outbreak of mildew in Bordeaux.

While the great and the good were celebrating and tasting Bordeaux en primeur’s latest releases from the 2023 vintage, French website Vitisphere said that a major mildew threat had hit vineyards after warm weather followed by rains last month had caused the issues.

Alexandre Davy of the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV) told a CIVB webinar that there was mildew “almost everywhere” in the Libourne area on a “frequent or even very frequent basis”.

Davy added that the situation was the same in Graves, but it was “more scattered” in the Médoc.

Davy said that the outbreaks were a few weeks earlier than last year and in 2020, stating from September 2023 to April this year 950mm of rain fell in Saint-Émilion, which is compared to an average of 544mm. In addition, it was 1.3 degrees C warmer.

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