Pic Saint Loup: Hail wipes out a large chunk of the 2016 crop

Mardi 13 septembre 2016 par Vitisphere

Pic Saint Loup: Hail wipes out a large chunk of the 2016 crop

A hailstorm that started out in Corconne in the north of the area and swept as far south as Montpellier devastated Pic Saint Loup vineyards on August 17, literally lacerating vine canopy and trunks. “Reports are already in of hailstones of between 1 and 2 centimetres and sometimes more”, said Laurent Gourdon, head of the Hérault viticulture department. Many vineyards are completely devastated after the hailstones tore vines apart. “There aren’t even any leaves or grapes left on the vines... It looks like winter”, said Fabien Reboul of Château de Valflaunès in the heart of the appellation area. The storm was not only totally unexpected, it was also extremely powerful: “We haven’t witnessed anything like it for fifty years! The hail corridor was huge, it was seven to eight kilometres wide”.

Although the first official estimates of the damage have yet to be released, local authorities have announced that “the vineyards of Pic Saint Loup and Grés de Montpellier are the hardest hit with several hundreds of hectares suffering 100% damage”. Some crops will be entirely written off this year, especially in the area located in the eye of the storm, in Claret and Lauret. After a visit to the area on August 18, Jacques Rousseau, head of the viticulture department of the Co-operative Wine Institute (ICV) reported that rot had set in on grapes still left on the vines.

 

Source: Vitisphere. Photo: ICV.

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