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Hail ravages vineyards in northern Medoc

Violent hail storms across southwest France have caused extensive damage to vineyards in the northern Medoc region of Bordeaux.

Hail damage in Bordeaux. Image credit: Per Karlsson BKWine / Alamy

Around 500 hectares of vines are thought to have been at least partially damaged in Lesparre, Saint-Yzan and Prignac-en-Medoc.

Winemakers in the area are still counting the cost of the storms, which arrived during the crucial vine flowering period.

Charles Chevallier, of Chateau Lafite, told Decanter.com, ‘We have not been affected so far in Pauillac, but just a few miles to the north of here some vineyards have seen their entire year’s crop disappear.’

Many producers in Bordeaux have been crossing their fingers for a good crop this year, after bad weather led to the region’s smallest harvest for 22 years in 2013.

Chateau Preuillac, owned by Jean-Christophe Mau, has lost up to 80% of its vines in the storms. Mau was not confident that his vines will recover for the 2014 vintage. ‘It’s bad news, but that’s nature,’ he said.

Antoine Medeville, of Oenoconseil, a consultant who works across the Medoc region, said that the effects were irregular, but that immediately above Saint Estephe there were vine losses of between 25% and 100%.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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