(May 30, 2017) A large proportion of vineyards across most wine regions of France, including our own French organic wine producer, are reeling from crop loss caused by what’s being called the worst frost in since 1991. The last two weeks in April brought extremely cold conditions of below 26°F and caused complete destruction at some wineries. Our French organic wine partners at Vignobles Raymond report a loss of 60-70% of their vineyards and they are still assessing the overall impact on the 2017 vintage.
According to Wine Enthusiast, “Every French region has been hit: Champagne, Loire, Burgundy, Alsace, Beaujolais, Languedoc, Provence, Cognac and Bordeaux. The damage has been made worse because of the current growing season. A dry spring (almost no rain) in April coupled with sunny days have accelerated the vines’ growth. By the time the first frost hit the east of France on the morning of April 20, it was already three weeks ahead of normal levels.”
From Snooth: “Frost is among wine growers’ worst nightmares, the literal overnight death of thousands of fragile, baby shoots which can decimate the vintage.”
“Natural Merchants is currently working with Vignobles Raymond to secure the amount of remaining 2016 vintage as well as the limited 2017 vintage to ensure that quantity needs of existing customers are met across the country.”
The Vignobles Raymond Fight Against Frost in their French Organic Wine Vineyards
Stephanie Dolet, Export Manager for Vignobles Raymond, says the winery did what they could to protect and preserve the vineyards by lighting large candles out in the vineyard. Unfortunately, although hard work and efforts were put into this many days and nights, it was not enough.
The red varietal grapes that were saved will be utilized to make red wines including U.S. imports Les Hauts de Lagarde Bordeaux Rouge and en Memoire du Malbec. The Les Hauts de Lagarde Bordeaux Blanc will be produced in limited quantity as well. There will not be a 2017 vintage Les Hauts de Lagarde Rosé. On a brighter note, as was already planned, the winery will be launching Elodie Côtes de Provence Rosé in early 2018.
Author: Lisa Bell, Marketing Director, Natural Merchants, Inc.