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WINE

Two million bottles of French wine go up in flames in warehouse blaze

Two million bottles of French wine have been destroyed in a fire in Bordeaux.

Two million bottles of French wine go up in flames in warehouse blaze
Illustration photo: AFP
This might make for painful reading for any wine lovers out there.
 
A total of 60 firefighters were sent out to try and stop the warehouse blaze in Carbon-Blanc in the suburbs of Bordeaux. 
 
But despite staying for hours to make sure the fire did not break out again, a significant part of the wine stock of producer Sovex Grands Châteaux was destroyed. 
 
According to France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine, two million bottles of wine, as well as spirits, went up in flames or else were made unfit for sale as a result of the blaze. 
 
According to early results from the investigation, the fire seems to have started in the false ceiling which then collapsed on pallets and crates of alcohol.
 
Sovex Grands Châteaux is currently trying to assess the damage with their insurers.
 
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Readers' tips: How to choose a good bottle of wine in a French supermarketPhoto: AFP

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FARMING

Cold snap ‘could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent’

A rare cold snap that froze vineyards across much of France this month could see harvest yields drop by around a third this year, France's national agriculture observatory said on Thursday.

Cold snap 'could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent'
A winemaker checks whether there is life in the buds of his vineyard in Le Landreau, near Nantes in western France, on April 12th, following several nights of frost. Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

Winemakers were forced to light fires and candles among their vines as nighttime temperatures plunged after weeks of unseasonably warm weather that had spurred early budding.

Scores of vulnerable fruit and vegetable orchards were also hit in what Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie called “probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”

IN PICTURES: French vineyards ablaze in bid to ward off frosts

The government has promised more than €1 billion in aid for destroyed grapes and other crops.

Based on reported losses so far, the damage could result in up to 15 million fewer hectolitres of wine, a drop of 28 to 30 percent from the average yields over the past five years, the FranceAgriMer agency said.

That would represent €1.5 to €2 billion of lost revenue for the sector, Ygor Gibelind, head of the agency’s wine division, said by videoconference.

It would also roughly coincide with the tally from France’s FNSEA agriculture union.

Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed during a visit to damaged fields in southern France last Saturday that the emergency aid would be made available in the coming days to help farmers cope with the “exceptional situation.”

READ ALSO: ‘We’ve lost at least 70,000 bottles’ – French winemakers count the cost of late frosts

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