Unexpected snow causes minimal damage in Bordeaux

Snowy conditions have caused minimal vine damage in Bordeaux according to a report released by the Counseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux.

The unexpected weather hit the French region in late March with hot sunny days followed by spell of frost and snow.

The report stated: “Due to a mild winter and generally good weather, bud burst is already well advanced in Bordeaux (about 15 days ahead). 

“Depending on the plots and grape varieties, the buds are either still at the cotton stage or the first leaves have already appeared. The vine remains very vulnerable to frost at this stage in the growth cycle.”

A diary of the testing conditions is a follows:

Night of Thursday 26 March: Frost severely affected several major French wine regions. Despite negative temperatures in places, and apart from a few affected plots, Bordeaux was spared the frost.

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March: Two sunny days with temperatures above 17°C, 7°C above seasonal average.

Monday 30 March: Started with a spell of snow but the outdoor temperature remained positive meaning the melted snow caused no damage to the buds and young leaves.

The night of 30 March: Temperatures below 0°C which caused limited damage.

Based on past experience local growers deployed equipment on the ground to reduce or even eradicate frost damage by heating the air.