Frost of the France vineyards of 27 April 2016

Posted By: Benjamin B In: Defivin your wine merchant online On: Comment: 0 Hit: 366

In the Loire Valley, the appellations of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, but also Burgundy of Chablisien on Côte Chalonnaise, were severely affected by strong frosts during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, April 27, 2016: 50% Of the harvest is permanently lost.

Known as black frost with extreme temperatures of -4 °, or even -6 °, this climatic phenomenon has arrived at the worst moment of the vegetative life of the vine. It is currently in full budding, that is to say at the period of opening buds, "an extremely critical moment" for the vine.

Contrary to what we might think "this is paradoxically due to an effect of global warming: mild winters advance the date of stripping, while late frosts always occur at the same time.

In some parts of the Yonne, it was -4 ° C that week. In Chablis, vineyards have opted for the technique of watering the vines so that the temperature of the buds does not fall below 0 degrees, by imprisoning the young shoots in a cocoon of saving ice. Others opt for the ignition of candles.

"We see that it is quite serious in some sectors. This is particularly the case in Chablisien and Côte-d'Or (côte-de-nuitscôte-de-beaune) as well as in the Chalon coast, "observed Jean-Michel Aubinel, President of the Confederation of Appellations Wines of Burgundy. The frost affected one third of the Burgundy vineyard.

Not all vines are affected in the same way. Some are at 5%, others at 100%.

For having visited several winegrowers of côte-de-nuits and Côte de Beaune this week, I can confirm their great concern and their desolation at this new blow of fate, especially in the vineyard of Savigny les Beaune, already hard hit By stormy periods (hail, tearing ...), known in 2013 and 2014. The vine, already weakened, will not rely on certain places and young or much older feet will have to be torn off.

We are therefore moving towards a new shortage of certain Burgundy appellations, and mechanically supply / demand, towards a definite rise in prices for the coming vintages.


Champagne was also pricked by the frost. Even Provence was not spared. The cold wave reached the Var hillsides on Friday morning.


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