Past weeks, images of candlelit French vineyards flooded social media. From Champagne to Provence, and Côtes de Gascogne to Alsace, France has faced a climatic catastrophe, the ‘biggest agronomic disaster of the century’ Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, estimates. Frost wiped out a significant part of the winegrowers’ work in an already very trying period both morally and economically.
Spring frosts are a terrible enemy in the vineyards. Why?
In spring, the vine grows its first shoots to then flower in late spring and give fruits in early summer. If frost hits, new plant material freezes and dies. This simply disrupts the vine’s cycle and puts at risk the whole harvest.
Also, frost can delay bud burst and grape are at risk of not ripening fully before autumn. And Fungal diseases can easily develop if the weather stays wet. How to fight it? Wine-growers can lit braziers and candles or burn bales of straw close to the vines.
What is happening in France is a true agricultural disaster and described as one of the worst frost in decades. We want to show solidarity and help our winegrowers facing the loss of 2021 crop. Watch out this space and check our social media pages because next week we will release info on how to help and donate to vendanges solidaires. It takes a village people and we are asking the help of our Hong Kong community to ensure we will be able to keep drinking more natural wine.