Provence vineyards damaged by hail

Tuesday September 07 2021 by Vitisphere

After the raging wildfires in August, summer ended with a devastating hailstorm.   After the raging wildfires in August, summer ended with a devastating hailstorm. - Photo credit : Christian Bastard

On Tuesday 24 August, just two days before harvesting was due to start, Antoine Paris watched helplessly as hailstones measuring 2 to 3 cm fell on vines belonging to his godfather Thomas and brother Benjamin, both grape suppliers of the Pourrières co-operative winery in Var, near Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume.

The family lost 12 tonnes of fruit over the 2 hectares of Merlot they have harvested since the storm. “And that’s far from being the end of it because we found grapes on the ground across our 21 hectares”, says Paris. Many of the berries still on the vines have burst and dried.

Near Gonfaron, where the huge wildfire of the previous week started, the two rain gauges in the village of Pignans recorded 150 mm of rainfall in just one hour. The picture was similar in Carnoules.

The storms also affected vineyards in the Bouches-du-Rhône region. In Rognes, north of Aix-en-Provence, Christian Bastard of Domaine Bagrau claims he lost at least two hectares of grapes, just three weeks before the harvest.

 

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