Bordeaux Region Gets Pummeled With Hail
Hundreds of vineyards spanning thousands of hectares in the Bordeaux wine region of southwestern France were ravaged by hailstorms this Saturday. This storm followed a year of one of the worst harvests in history. A 39% fall led to a drastic increase in wine prices.
The ravaging storm hit the south around noon, damaging the Pessac-Leognan and Medoc regions. The Medoc region is well known for its gravelly soil and its production of Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The wines produced in Medoc are the boldest of the Bordeaux region. The storm also affected famous chateaux. The hail storm then made its way down the Gironde River, affecting the vineyards of Cotes de Bourg and Cotes de Blaye.
Didier Gontier, head of the Cotes de Bourg wine association, told Franceinfo radio that the storm raged on violently for ten long minutes.
The storm then moved through Gensac and Pessac-sur-Dordogne. Cognac was also affected by hail, as well as the devastating frost from last year. Approximately 500-1,000 wine growers have been devastated by this storm.
Damage in Medoc encompassed about 1,000 hecatares, while Cote de Blaye and Cote de Bourg had about 4,000 hectares of damage. Some growers lost their entire harvest. Bordeaux is the second largest wine region in France, spanning 112,000 hectares.
The detrimental combination of droughts, frosts, and hail storms caused a 16% increase in the price of wine during the first six months of 2017-2018. The pebble size hail was said to be "unprecedented" and hit at the same time that two women in Germany were struck by lightning.
90% of the wines produced in the Bordeaux region are reds. These wines, ranging from table wine to some of the finest in the world, are made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines feature hints of black currant, plum, and earthy tones.
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