Freak weather conditions hit the vineyards of the northern Rhône over the weekend, causing traffic chaos and promting fears of frost.
The vines of Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Joseph saw two days of snow with the famous hill of Hermitage (pictured) covered in white and looking more like a ski slope than a vineyard. The Côte Rôtie area to the north and vineyards further south were much less affected.
Although snow is usual for the northern Rhône around the winter months, a prolonged storm is rare at this time of year.
‘I am not so old, but I have only seen snow in April once before,’ Joël Durand, one of the leading growers in Saint Joseph and Cornas said. ‘That was in 1981 when we had snow on April 27.’
However, Durand and other growers agreed that at the moment the weather was no threat to the vines. Despite low temperatures, the threat of frost – one of the main concerns during bud-break – has not materialised.
Photo: Per Karlsson/BKWine.com
Written by Per Karlsson