Bordeaux reports limited frost damage to vines

Vineyards across France have been hit by snow and frost this week, although many winemakers are reporting “very limited damage” to the vines to date.

The Bordeaux wine group – Conseil Interprofessionel du vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) - said that during the night of March 26 frost severely affected several major French wine regions.

It said: “Despite negative temperatures in places, and apart from a few affected plots, the Bordeaux vineyard region was fortunate to be spared the frost.”

This date was followed by two days of sunshine, with temperatures above 17 degrees Celsius, which is seven degrees above average for this time of year.

This was followed, on Monday March 30, by a morning of snow, followed by two nights of very low temperatures.

The CIVB said: “Damage has been noted, but it remains limited in the Bordeaux vineyards.”

It noted also that bud burst is already well advanced in Bordeaux by about 15 days ahead, and it said, “the vine remains very vulnerable to frost at this stage in the growth cycle”.

When the cold snaps were forecast, the French administration (through the Gironde prefecture) authorised burning under certain conditions. Growers deployed equipment on the ground to reduce or eradicate frost damage by heating the ambient air . 

Vineyards in the Rhone Valley and in Provence are reported to have suffered more vine damage, as temperatures dropped to -4C earlier this week.

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