Winegrowers in the vineyards near Chablis, Burgundy, April 7, 2021 as temperatures drop below zero ... degrees Celsius at night. AFP via Images
France is in a cold snap, with the weather dropping to an unexpected -4C dyears in large parts of the country, record lows for April. And this poses enormous problems for farmers and wine producers, who fear harvests will be damaged. From Chablis to Champagne, France has been covered with images of what looks like burnt fields.
These are cultivation candles, placed in the fields by the farmers to prevent frost.
From Monday evening to Tuesday morning the temperature dropped, but it was not as alarming as the weather conditions from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning. Winemaker Claire Lelais in southern Sarthe, northwest France, said the situation deteriorated over a period of several hours as the increased humidity began to freeze the vines, and many farmers were forced to light as many candles as they could afford to save. harvests.
However, a big problem for wineries is the cost. , these controlled fires can raise the temperature by 3 ° C, but candles can cost up to € 10 ($ 12) each, so the cost can go up to € 2,000 - € 3,000 (2,400 at $ 3,600) per hectare.
Some farmers are turning to other methods. A Burgundian farmer sprinkles his orchards with water. He explained, “It 's simple. Water produces this gel the moment it freezes. And it releases calories, which are digested inside the ice cream and apple blossom. It's less cold inside the ice, like an Eskimo inside an igloo, than outside. Others hired helicopters to fly low over their crops to circulate air to avoid freezing.
Thursday night is expected to bring more biting temperatures and possibly the worst night for people to visit.gnobles further south. .