Violent hail storms ravage Bordeaux

If you are visiting Bordeaux this winter be aware that many winemakers have just lost 100% of their harvest.

Violent hailstorms ravaged parts of the famous wine region in south western France last Saturday causing major damage in hundreds of vineyards with thousands of hectares of vines destroyed.

This catastrophe is just a year after the Bordeaux region suffered one of its worst harvests in history with a production fall of 39 percent last year due to late frosts, which lead to a jump in prices.

The hail first hit the south of the region last Saturday at midday, affecting the Pessac-Leognan region and the south of Medoc, home to some of the region’s most famous chateaux.

It then traveled and devastated vineyards of Cotes de Bourg and Cotes de Blaye on the right bank of the Gironde river and, further east, in the Gensac and Pessac-sur-Dordogne.

The vineyard of Cognac was also hit by hail. An initial figure of 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) were affected out of a total 70,000 hectares. They had also been affected by frosts last year.

The figures, still being up scaled show that between 500 and more than 1,000 wine growers have been affected with a area hit of 1,000 hectares in the Medoc, between 4,000 and 5,000 hectares for Cote de Blaye and Cote de Bourg and about 1,000 hectares in the vicinity of Gensac.

There are 112,000 hectares of vines in the entire Bordeaux region, the second-largest wine producing region in France after Languedoc Roussillon.

Last year France’s total production had fallen to a record low due to a series of poor weather incidents including spring frosts, drought and storms that affected most of the main growing regions including Bordeaux and Champagne.

Bordeaux wine prices rose 16 percent in the first six months of the 2017/18 season so unless you bought on indent expect more price rises from this already expensive region.

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