Landslide carries vineyard away in Jura

Monday July 26 2021 by Vitisphere

 At 52, Jean-Claude Credoz has no recollection of ever seeing this amount of damage in Jura. At 52, Jean-Claude Credoz has no recollection of ever seeing this amount of damage in Jura. - Photo credit : Domaine Credoz (Valentin Credoz)

Yet another disaster. We had already been dealt a big blow by the spring frost, hail and mildew, during our third year of conversion to organic farming”, says Jean-Claude Credoz, head of Domaine Credoz which has 9 hectares of vines, half of them in AOC Château-Chalon. After a particularly wet May and June, uninterrupted rainfall from Wednesday 14 to Thursday 15 July caused impressive landslides on the neighbouring hillsides of Château-Chalon and Ménétru-le-Vignoble.

It started on Thursday, with cracks on the road to Ménétru-le-Vignoble, then the retaining wall subsided. On Friday, a fault more than 50 cm wide appeared in our young vineyard, which was planted above the road this spring. The fault got bigger overnight, and by Saturday there was no road. It happened very quickly”, explains Credoz, who lost 0.8 hectares of vines over three blocks. Two of them are above the road and have literally become detached, with wires and poles now 5-10 metres high after the landslide. “It's going to be an incredible amount of work to put everything right”, he said, hardly daring to think about the implications. Half the vineyard below the road was destroyed by the landslide, but “we're going to try and recover all the grapes we can, we don't want to leave a single grape after the frost”.

It's pretty spectacular and highly unusual, but it's not surprising”, claims Gaël Delorme, head of viticulture at the Jura Viticultural Society. Although unable to assess the damage that has affected other vines on the same hillsides, Delorme stresses that this “vineyard is quite distinctive, with very clayey areas – marl. We are used to some movement. The rainy episodes have dramatically increased erosion and movement of the roads. All it takes is for the water to create the right route for the stabilisation to collapse”.

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