Take a deep breath, French wine lovers—your favorite Bordeaux could be about to soar in price.
Popular French wines may cost more this summer as devastating conditions threaten production across the European country.
Vineyards all over France have been struck by extremely cold weather over the past week, making its iconic grape beverages harder and more expensive to create.
The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, Rhône, and Champagne are all currently suffering from frosty conditions, with the nation recording its lowest April temperature since 1947 on the third day of this month.
Fears are now growing that this year's harvest will again be hit by 2021's devastating spring weather, which damaged up to 80% of French vineyards and resulted in a loss of almost €2 billion. The government declared the incident, which some scientists have attributed to the climate emergency, an 'agricultural disaster' and promised financial aid to farmers whose output was most affected.
Desperate to protect their harvests, many winegrowers have developed innovative ways to minimize the icy damage. Some have attempted to artificially warm up their vineyards and orchards with candles and electric wires, while others have been spraying water over their crops to speed up thawing.
It remains too early to tell if 2022 will be another washout year for winegrowers, but if the past few weeks are anything to go by, the future isn't looking good.
In an almost exact repeat of last year's sequence of events, the country was struck by a warm spell in March, which caused an early budding that, in turn, only heightened the crops' vulnerability to frostbite.
Despite this worrying pattern, the Bourgogne wine board (BIVB) has cautioned against panicking.
"It is much too soon to evaluate the consequences of this latest episode, which was very stressful for winemakers from Bourgogne, and across the whole of France," it said.
"The vines are less advanced in the growth cycle and in general terms, the frost event was shorter and less intense. The weather returned to positive figures on Monday [4 April], and this is set to last until Easter."
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Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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