France’s Top Vineyards Hit With Biggest Losses in Decades

Region reportedly loses up to $1.1 billion from late-April frost.

May 5, 2017 10:39 am
French Vineyards See Billion-Dollar Losses to Crops After Late-April Frost
Heaters are lit early on April 21, 2017, in a Chablis vineyard hit by freeze near Auxerre, as the frost damaged part of French vineyards and orchards. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

April frost spells cataclysmic loss for the French wine industry.

According to Bloomberg, a late frosting last month in France’s biggest winemaking areas, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, has cost the French wine industry as much as $1.1 billion.

Winemakers hadn’t seen a cold spell that bad—or that late—since 1991. As Decanter notes, 70 percent of vineyards in Bordeaux alone have seen damage to their vines based on a pair of days where temperatures dipped into the 20s. The cold snap has devastated 20 percent of Bordeaux vineyards, which have lost between 90 percent and 100 percent of their yields for 2017.

However, as Bloomberg notes, a devastating year for farmers could be boon for distributers. The shortfall will likely give a needed bump in demand to French wines, sending wine-lovers out seeking previous year’s vintages to quench their demand.

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