Unusually long hailstorms, some of which lasted up to 25 minutes, and gale force winds caused extensive damage to foliage and fruit though the vines themselves are reported to have mostly come out unscathed, which may limit the majority of damage to this year’s crop. Many growers are reporting up to 80-90 percent damage, some of which is located in Pommard top growths such as Les Epenots and Les Charmots. The losses will come as a blow to growers who already suffered severe damage last year with a short crop region-wide having affected sales volumes due to lack of availabilities.
The authorities and local industry representatives have been assessing the damage since Tuesday and growers have asked for special permission to treat vines by helicopter. With the weather still warm, disease is now a huge threat and only by spraying vineyards will growers be able to prevent further losses. As the vineyards are waterlogged and not accessible by tractor, spraying by helicopter is the only option. Similar permission was granted recently by the authorities in Bordeaux although no growers are thought to have actually resorted to what is ultimately a costly method of spraying. If they choose to do so in Burgundy, spraying is expected to start today.