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 Decanter.com. 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.