Sunday, April 25, 2021

Insurance/Ethanol: "Champagne “lucky” with frost compared to other French wine regions" plus Insurance Coverage of the Vineyards

 First up, from The Drinks Business, April 23:

With an estimated 20% loss to this year’s crop in Champagne due to severe frosts earlier this month, one winemaker told db the region had been “lucky” compared to other parts of France.

Speaking after the virtual launch of Cristal 2013 this week, Louis Roederer cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon said that the impact of the frosts had been uneven across the Champagne appellation, which covers more than 30,000 hectares, but overall that the region had been “more lucky” than other areas of France.

“For sure the frosts have caused damage [to the vines in Champagne], but it’s too early to say exactly how much, as most of the vines were still dormant, and we don’t know how deeply the frost affected the vine,” he said.

Explaining that it was possible to see the damage on the green shoots from freezing temperatures, which db has been told reached as low as -6 degrees Celsius on 7 April in some parts of Champagne, he added that it was very complicated to assess the impact on the dormant buds.

“We need another week or two when the buds get out of dormancy to see if they are ok or not,” he said.

For Roederer’s own vineyards, which extend over 240 hectares, Lécaillon said that visual inspections had suggested that the Champagne house had lost 15% of this year’s potential crop, but, he added, that could rise to 25-30% if the dormant buds have also been affected.

“I would bet today on 15-20% loss,” he said.

Interestingly, he said that the best vineyards of Champagne, the grands crus of the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs were “lightly touched” by the frost.

The worst-affected area of Champagne was the most southerly part of the appellation, the Aube, where the vine cycle is more advanced due to the warmer climate.

“The frost was massive in the Aube, so it was really serious there, with a 50% loss,” he said....


 And via Insurance Journal:

Up to 40% of Losses from Frost Damage at French Vineyards Are Uninsured

Frost damage to French vineyards this month could reduce wine production by nearly a third compared with recent years, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Thursday, citing initial estimates from wine producers.

The losses, subject to revision as the frost impact becomes clearer in the coming weeks, were projected at around 15 million hectolitres and would put France on course for 2021 wine output between 28% and 32% below average volumes of recent years, Ygor Gibelind of FranceAgriMer’s wine unit told reporters....


 As noted in our four word intro to April 11's "France declares ‘calamité agricole’ after record cold":

This is very bad....