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Hail destroys 300ha of vineyards in Champagne, says report

Last weekend's severe hailstorms caused such extensive damage that several parts of the Champagne region lost up to half the potential 2013 crop, according to an official report issued yesterday.

Grape damage in Champagne

The report by the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) found some 3,000 hectares were affected with more than 300ha of vineyard completely destroyed across the region.

The report stated: ‘Hailstones particularly affected villages around Epernay and the Côte des Blancs.

‘A quarter of the vineyards have been affected by hail in Mancy and Hautvillers with around 30% of the vineyards damaged. 100% of the vineyards have been hit in the communes of Monthelon and Moslins with 10% damage in the former, but at least half the harvest destroyed in Moslins.

‘In the Côte des Blancs, the hail struck the crus of Cramant, Cuis, Chouilly Oiry and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger with between 10-15% of the crop lost.’

The report added that the St-Thierry area to the west of Reims was ‘particularly hit’ with ‘all the communes of Pévy, Hermonville, Prouilly and Trigny involved’, of which Prouilly and Trigny lost half their potential crop.

Michel Letter managing director of GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouët, confirmed the damage in Cramant: ‘In our Mumm vineyard, which lies in the centre of the cru, 20% to 25% was hit and we have seen 15ha completely destroyed.’

Speaking to Decanter.com, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon at Louis Roederer said: ‘We have had a succession of serious storms over the past five days with strong local winds (more than 100km/h in Verzenay on Saturday evening) and lots of rain – more than 70mm in some places with floods in Cumières and Aÿ on Saturday morning. We have suffered hail damage of between 10% and 20% in Cramant, Chouilly and part of Avize. We have also had some hail in Cumières and Hautvillers with about 10% losses.’

The recent destruction adds to the damage caused to the region earlier in the year where 600ha was affected and 300ha completed destroyed.

Photo credit champagne-ardenne.france3.fr

Written by Giles Fallowfield

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