Substantial damage caused by a tornado in the Loire Valley prompts community spirit

Tuesday July 06 2021 by Vitisphere

 The consequences of the tornado include the loss of crops, buildings and equipment destroyed and time needed to repair the damage. The consequences of the tornado include the loss of crops, buildings and equipment destroyed and time needed to repair the damage. - Photo credit : Domaines Jamet

It crossed our village diagonally, from south to north, sweeping up and devastating everything in its path: sheds, roofs, agricultural and winegrowing equipment and cars, along with the church tower, the emblem of our wine region and our village”.  The tornado which struck Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil on June 19 left both villagers and winegrowers in a state of shock. “The tornado lasted only a few minutes but it left a nightmare scenario, with trees uprooted, roofs torn off, cars destroyed... Five wineries suffered major damage. Winegrowing machinery was blown away. The vineyards also suffered: sheet metal from shed roofs and materials were ripped off and caught up in the tornado, falling into vineyards. But luckily, nobody was killed or injured”, says Alexandra Genneteau, director of the Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil producers’ organisation.

About 120 hectares of vines were struck by hail overnight on 16 June, and then by the tornado. This will not have a significant impact on the crop for the appellation as a whole. There was a huge show of community spirit. Council workers from the surrounding villages cleaned up the vineyards, and a caterer provided free meals for volunteers”, recounts Patrick Olivier, chairman of the organisation.

François Jamet and his brother Antoine suffered significant damage. “One part of our vineyard was struck by hail, then the tornado caused three chimneys to collapse on our house at Clos du Vigneau, and half our roofs were damaged. 10 hectares of our vines suffered damage. The trellising will have to be redone. On one plot, we had to use a chainsaw to cut up the trees that were blown down”.

 

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