French Vineyards Hit by Spring Frost Again

A vineyard in Burgundy (file photo).

© Shutterstock


A vineyard in Burgundy (file photo).

© Shutterstock

Wine production in France, the world's second-largest wine producer after Italy, tumbled in 2021 after severe spring frosts and summer rain ravaged vines.

Now winemakers are fearing a repeat after frost hit this week following warm weather.

"Two nights with spring frost in our Chablis Grands Crus," Olivier Tricon from Domaine de Vauroux in Chablis, northern Burgundy wrote on Facebook on April 4. "Hope to see beautiful leaves in a few weeks," he said, adding a "fingers crossed" emoji.

Winemakers in Chablis fear that the pattern of mild weather followed by frost, which saw temperatures plunge to –5 degrees Celsius, may become the norm. 

Temperatures dropped below zero in other parts of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.

Scenes of winemakers battling at night to try to save their crop by lighting small fires and candles in a bid to avert frost damage recalls the devastating frost attack a year ago. 

"Second year in a row," Sylvie Esmonin, winemaker at Gevrey Chambertin in Burgundy's Côte de Nuits district, posted on April 4 2022 on Instagram. 

Wine production was slashed in 2021 after the April frost, which was described by the country's Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie as "probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century".