Bitter cold early last month caused HUGE harvest problem in France: Experts

Ever wonder how last year’s cold snaps are affecting France’s wine harvest? First, the relief. The chill was welcome in Europe after a devastating global epidemic of fruit and nut tree blight caused by…

Bitter cold early last month caused HUGE harvest problem in France: Experts

Ever wonder how last year’s cold snaps are affecting France’s wine harvest?

First, the relief.

The chill was welcome in Europe after a devastating global epidemic of fruit and nut tree blight caused by a fungus called Pathogenic Hemlock.

“The great epidemic of Hemlock is completely over,” Karl Molm of vineyard and wine producer Terre Haute told HuffPost France. “This harvest is extraordinary,” said Mahiedine Abassi, the head of the Westpac Wine Supply Centre in Paris.

Yet a bitter cold snap late October made for a tricky grape harvest.

Even late frosts such as those experienced at about Dec. 23, fell near the tip of the Bordeaux wine region, causing a fall in yields.

But drier weather since mid-October has alleviated growers’ fears.

Now that the harvest is completed, several months before the traditionally official start of the grape-growing season, only 4.3 percent of cabernet sauvignon grapes in the Lot range, for example, have matured to white wine maturity — an early start by Bordeaux standards.

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