Champagne hit by devastating frosts

Drinks: Champagne, Wines

Wine-growing regions across France, including Champagne, have been hit by severe frost in the past two weeks, causing irreversible damage to vine shoots.

As reported by France Bleu, temperatures dropped to -5°C in Mailly-Champagne in Montagne de Reims and -4°C in the Vallée de la Marne on Thursday 20 April.

‘Sadly, last week, Champagne, like Bordeaux and Burgundy, wasn’t spared by the sharp spring frosts which followed unseasonably warm weather throughout France,’ commented Francoise Peretti, director of the Champagne Bureau UK.

‘Though too early to estimate the extent of the damage, we believe that on average 20-25% of vine shoots have been destroyed. Fortunately for us, champagne producers have access to reserves from previous harvests. This measure, which is unique to Champagne, might come in handy when the time comes to blend the 2017 harvest,’ she added.

Vineyards in the southern Côte des Bar region were also hit, with some growers reporting losses of up to 50% of their potential harvest according to Meanwhile Champagne Louis Roederer’s vineyard director, Johann Merle, estimated total losses of 23% in the Côte des Blancs, 35-40% in the Montagne de Reims and 15-20% in the Vallée de la Marne.



About Author

Julie Sheppard

Julie Sheppard has worked as a food and wine journalist for the past 15 years. She has written for a range of key UK and international specialist drinks publications including Wine International, Harpers, HOT and The Drinks Business. She has also written about wine, spirits, bars and restaurants for consumer magazines such as Time Out, Waitrose Food Illustrated and national newspapers including The Sunday Times. For two years Julie worked as editor of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book and was also senior editor of Mitchell Beazley's Classic Wine Library series. She is currently managing editor of Imbibe and, and contributing editor for UK restaurant and bar guide Square Meal,, and lifestyle magazine Square Meal Lifestyle.

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