A Message from the Wine Ambassador Team: While most of the wine news and wineries we feature on the Wine Ambassador are from California, it's important to keep our eye on things going on all over the world. What happens in France, for example, will greatly impact this vintage year for these growers and winemakers -- which in turn will influence how wines in California are priced and sold, too. Now that we've flagged your attention about this newsworthy weather event in France, you can watch and see for yourself how the 2016 vintages of French wines from the Burgundy region will be marketed and discussed later on. 

27th April, 2016 by Rupert Millar

A cold snap has seen severe frosts hit the entire length of Burgundy’s vineyards as well as other French regions – although the full extent of the damage is so far unknown.

Temperatures plunged to below zero last night and this morning (27 April) leading growers in Burgundy and elsewhere in Europe to awake to an almost wintry landscape – if they hadn’t been up all night seeing to their candles and other anti-frost measures.

An initial report from the Burgundy interprofession (BIVB) to the drinks business explained that the phenomenon was “extremely” rare but that it affected vineyards across the entirety of Burgundy and that even vineyards that usually escape such freezes have been affected.vines-burgundy-beaune

Pictured here: Vines near Beaune this weekend, already looking less green after a light frost that morning.

The higher vineyards in Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois appear to have been the worst affected, the north of the Côte de Beaune (Savigny, Chorey and down to Meursault, Pommard and Volnay) was also severely touched and apparently Marsannay in the Côte de Nuits.

There is concern for Rully and Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise while the Mâconnais, which saw hail hit 1,500 hectares of its vineyards last week, also had widespread frost this morning.

There have been other reports of equally severe frosts in the Loire, Languedoc and Abruzzo in Italy.

"It should be stressed that the full extent of the damage is not yet known and that it will probably not be until next week that its full effects become clear."

News from winemakers in some areas though is not sounding hugely positive.

More to follow as the situation develops.

About the Wine Ambassador - The Wine Ambassador is all about keeping our community connected to the entire world of wine. Adding layers to the knowledge base of our community is one of our primary goals, and this includes looking outside of the California Wine Country and beyond.