Ask Sid: Your thoughts on the frost damage this month in French vineyards?

April 14th, 2021
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frost damage france french vineyards 2021 vintage harvest

Question: What are your thoughts on the frost damage this month in French vineyards?

Answer: Most concerning indeed. In this era of climate change we normally worry about higher temperatures but extremes have become a major problem too. The past decade has experienced smaller harvest crop volumes (except abundant 2018) especially in Chablis because of hail (2012, 2016) and frequent frosts of varying intensity (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, & 2020). However the cold temperatures of last week were particularly long, severe and widespread. These Spring frosts caused extensive damage to early vine budding all over France including Champagne, Chablis, Burgundy, Rhone (Cote-Rotie) and Bordeaux (Graves) but also Italy (mainly PIedmont & Tuscany). Everyone is calling this 2021 vintage the “worst frost freeze in decades” (called worse than historic 1997 & 1991) with a crop loss “catastrophe.” Expect prices to rise and supply to be more limited for 2021 when released. Recommend you stock up on your favourite wines from current vintages now.

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April 14th, 2021

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