Heavy rain caused problems for French champagne producers


The rain gauge in Maxime Toubart’s vineyard has overflowed-this is bad news for his Champagne vintage.

He said that in the past two months, the rainfall in his corner of France has reached 300 mm, which is 10 times what he usually expects at this time of the year.

“The vines need sunlight now, they need to be dry,” he said, holding up a moldy grape.

“Excessive rain can cause mold to grow. This fungus grows on the leaves and grapes. This fungus affects the number of grapes.”

Not like before

Tobart said that climate change is disrupting the established order of the vineyards in the Champagne region, and he now harvests in August instead of October.

“We know that to become a winemaker, you have to work with nature. We know that there are risks, and some vintages are okay, and some vintages are not so good,” he told Reuters.

“This year will be very difficult and will remain in my memory, because in the memory of our winemakers, we have never seen such a serious case of mildew.”

In Le Breuil, France, images taken by drones show from above the champagne vineyards that were damaged by mold during heavy rains. (Wu Yiming/Reuters)

He said that the frost in the spring meant that 30% of the harvest was lost, and mold caused another 30% of the loss.

“In a few weeks, we have lost more than half of our harvest,” said Tobart, vice chairman of CIVC, a lobby group for the champagne industry.

“We can’t put the vines in the tunnel”

Franck Jobert, also a grower, said that careful planning helped him reduce losses, but there was only so much he could do.

“We do our best; this is also part of luck, we can’t put the vines in the tunnel,” he said.

On Friday, in the Franck Jobert champagne vineyard in Le Breuil, France, grapes partially damaged by mold can be seen. (Wu Yiming/Reuters)

Meteo France stated that June to July in Champagne was the second wettest period since records began in the 1960s.

In mid-July, heavy rain hit Western Europe, Caused deadly floods in Germany and Belgium And it arouses people’s worries about damage to a series of agricultural products.

Toubart said this week that the stock of early vintages means that there should be no impact on the champagne supply on the market.



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