Winegrowers recount the devastating flash floods in the South of France

Monday October 22 2018 by Vitisphere

At Domaine Cases, the bridge leading to the flooded vineyards collapsed. Henri Cases cannot access his vines.At Domaine Cases, the bridge leading to the flooded vineyards collapsed. Henri Cases cannot access his vines. - Photo credit : Coupe-Roses

Winegrowers in Aude woke up on Tuesday October 16, the day after torrential rains flooded the area in the early hours of Monday morning, to discover apocalyptic scenes. Cars stranded amidst fields, collapsed roads, bridges torn away from their banks, dikes in tatters... the damage testifies to the violence of the freak floods. Cabardès was particularly affected. In the village of Villemoustaussou, winegrowers commented on the extent of the damage: “The Trapel, which runs alongside my vines, has broken its banks, the dyke has given way and lorry loads of pebbles have been scattered throughout my vineyards. I have 3 to 4 ha buried underneath stones 3 metres deep. You can’t see the vines any more”, said François Cazaux of Domaine Saint Roch. The road to his winery collapsed, forcing him to walk a mile to reach it.


A sea covering 200 ha

On the outskirts of Carcassonne, winegrowers were also heavily affected. “I have lost 10 to 15 hectares”, said Henri Cases, who farms a 150-hectare estate in Leuc, just outside Carcassonne. “The water that flooded the vineyards carried everything away. And today, I can't even get to them. The bridge leading to the vineyard was destroyed”, he added. A little farther east in Douzens, Château de Py’s vines were also under water. “Our vines are on the edge of the Aude, which has broken its banks. We had water 2 metres deep in the vines. In the plains, it was like the sea over 200 or so hectares.  We have between 80 and 100 hectares of vines that have been flooded. The posts have been knocked over, the training wires ripped off and the vines are covered in mud and rubbish. Getting everything back to normal will be a monumental task”, said Jean-Pierre Py.






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