• France's news in English

Burgundy vineyards face 'catastrophe' after storms

The Local/AFP · 24 Jul 2013, 15:12

Published: 24 Jul 2013 15:12 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A summer hailstorm has caused "catastrophic" damage to prestigious vineyards in France's Burgundy region, with up to 70 percent of crops destroyed on some estates, local wine producers said on Wednesday.

The storms on Tuesday, which saw strong hail accompanied by high winds, caused widespread damage in some of France's most well-known wine areas, including Côte de Beaune, Volnay, Pommard and Savigny-les-Beaune.

"It's catastrophic, some operations will not recover. There are losses of at least 30-40 percent, and that could rise to 70 percent," said Thiebault Huber, the head of the Volnay wine producers' union.

He said such heavy hail could do damage to vineyards that can last up to three years.

Jean-Louis Moissonet president of the Pommard wine makers union said: “The area between Beaune and Pommard is most affected. All the premiers crus are affected. It’s a disaster.”

Pommard is one of Burgundy's most famous wines.

The storm was the latest in a string of difficulties to hit Burgundy wine producers, including flooding in the spring and hailstorms last year that destroyed 60 percent of crops on some estates.

 “Last year the harvest was 60 percent down and this year it will be 70 or 80 percent down,” said Moissonet, who is to ask the regional authorities to declare a natural disaster for the sector.

According to union rep Caroline Chenu it was just as bad in Savigny-les-Beaune, where 40 to 50 percent losses have been reported in most areas although some vineyards higher up have lost 80 percent of the grapes.

Wine growers are quickly trying to treat the vines so that they are not ruined by disease after the storms.

Two people were also hospitalised after Tuesday's storm.

And it could yet get worse for Burgundy's wine growers. France's weather service was warning that more storms could hit on Wednesday.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available