- Title: Climate change takes toll on Chablis wine of central France
- Date: 6th September 2017
- Summary: CHABLIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 5, 2017) (REUTERS) SUN OVER VINEYARD WORKERS WALKING WITH CONTAINERS IN VINEYARD HOUSES SURROUNDED BY FIELDS WORKERS WALKING IN VINEYARD GRAPES VINEYARD VARIOUS OF WORKER SNIPPING OFF GRAPES FROM VINE VARIOUS OF WORKERS IN VINEYARD GRAPES IN BUCKET WORKER TRANSFERRING COLLECTED GRAPES INTO BIGGER CONTAINER WORKERS IN VINEYARD VARIOUS OF WORKERS TRANSFERRING GRAPES ONTO TRUCK OWNER OF PINSON VINEYARD, LAURENT PINSON, WALKING IN CELLAR PAST WINE BARRELS VARIOUS OF PINSON TAKING WINE FROM BARREL AND PUTTING IT IN GLASS (SOUNDBITE) (French) OWNER OF PINSON DOMAIN, LAURENT PINSON, SAYING: "The vagaries of the climate, especially the very frosty nights we had this year, have affected the harvest in a way that has been difficult to measure until now. It's true that now it's the harvest we can see that quantities are greatly diminished compared with what our expectations were. Across the fields, it could vary. You could have fields where you have very high percentages of loss, practically an 80-85 percent loss." TRUCKS TRANSPORTING GRAPES FROM FIELD SIGN THAT READS "CHABLIS" VARIOUS OF TRUCK POURING OUT GRAPES ONTO LARGE CONTAINERS VARIOUS OF GRAPES ON CONVEYOR GRAPES COMING OUT OF PIPE JUICE COMING OUT OF MECHANICAL PRESSER LOUIS MOREAU VINEYARD OWNER LOUIS MOREAU STANDING BESIDE WINE BOTTLES WINE BOTTLES FROM LOUIS MOREAU (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOUIS MOREAU VINEYARD OWNER, LOUIS MOREAU, SAYING: "It's always in cycles. But unfortunately, we can see that we no longer have seasons which you might describe as 'normal'. We have temperature ranges, you might lose 10 degrees in 24-48 hours, which is huge. The plant is stressed, you might have downpours which are quite massive, big storms. And we don't have seasons like we had in the past, where spring would come quietly, and then you have the summer. It's extreme straight away. Extreme can mean high, very hot, or low, very cold, very dry." VARIOUS OF BOTTLES OF WINE IN CELLAR (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOUIS MOREAU VINEYARD OWNER, LOUIS MOREAU, SAYING: "We know that the English are as worried as we are. They have Brexit, there are solutions to be found at the European level. We will come to it after: what can we do to be able to continue doing business, because Chablis has a strong reputation in Britain, and what can we ultimately do to sustain this good relationship?" STREET WAITER SERVING TABLE CHABLIS WINE BEING POURED IN GLASS, AMERICAN TOURIST SAYING (French) "THANK YOU" TOURISTS TOASTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST, NATALIA, SAYING: "The wine? Amazing. So far, we've tried a handful, maybe five or six different wines, and every single one of them is just better than the other one." VARIOUS OF LARGE SCULPTURE OF HAND HOLDING A BUNCH OF GRAPES
- Embargoed: 20th September 2017 15:09
- Keywords: Chablis wine harvest exports Brexit France
- Location: CHABLIS, FRANCE
- City: CHABLIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0016XGL1S7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: September's yield in Burgundy's renowned wine district of Chablis has suffered from extreme weather such as spring frosts, worrying producers as they enter a second year of diminished harvest.
In April, frost damaged vines across France, and growers resorted to using candles, heaters and even the down-draught from helicopters to try to save the crop.
Producers' fears were confirmed when they began harvesting crops at the start of September, with volumes below expectations.
Laurent Pinson, who owns a vineyard, said the wine quality was promising, with a good balance of sweetness and acidity, despite the precocious harvest.
The following weeks will determine the scale of the frost's impact on the harvest, but producers say extreme and unpredictable weather is now the new "normal".
"Unfortunately, we can see that we no longer have seasons which you might describe as 'normal'. We have temperature ranges, you might lose 10 degrees in 24-48 hours, which is huge," vineyard owner Louis Moreau said.
Adding to the list of unknowns is Brexit, whose full impact is yet to be felt by Chablis winemakers, who send about 85 percent of their exports to Britain.
Other major export markets for Chablis wine are Japan, Australia, the United States and Russia.
France's total wine output fell 10 percent last year due to adverse weather conditions.
Last July, the farm ministry said French wine production may fall 17 percent this year to a record low after spring frosts damaged vineyards, notably in the Bordeaux region, which might lose half its output.
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