Vintage 2017: Fears of frost in Chablis

Monday May 08 2017 by Vitisphere

After temperatures plummeted by night to between -4°C and -2°C, “there is already some frost damage on the valley floor. This is insignificant for the forthcoming harvest but the week to come will be hard...We need to wait until Friday to assess the full impact”, admits wine grower Jean-François Bordet, chairman of the Chablis committee of the Burgundy wine marketing board (BIVB). With a vineyard in the frost-prone area of Maligny, Bordet prepared his sprinkling equipment weeks ago and has now rolled out his ‘bougies’ or large paraffin candles amongst his vines.

With more low temperatures forecast, vineyards that do have equipment have resorted to every imaginable technique to protect against frost. “For the first time ever, we are using Frost Guard appliances which are gas heaters that radiate hot air”, says Guillaume Morvan, viticultural manager with the Yonne chamber of agriculture who has been monitoring trials of two of the appliances. The technician also stresses the efficacy of the bio-protection method PEL 101 GV (by Elicityl). Preventative applications, 12 to 48 hours before the frost event, are designed to reduce leaf necrosis – the product has reportedly sold out in Chablis.
 

Source: Vitisphere. Photo: Yonne chamber of agriculture

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