The wine makers at Burgundy experienced this plague already last year. This year, the grapes in the region of Bordeaux were affected, too. Some properties lost the majority of their grapes just a few days before the harvests. The French vineyards had already been severely damaged by the large number of storms in spring and summer. That is why for 2017, the worst harvests since 1945 were predicted!
A very low harvest for the region of Roussillon in 2017,
The vineyards of the Roussillon region were considerably influenced by the climate changes! This year, the harvests started historically early, to be more precise, they started 15 days earlier compared to the previous year of 2016. Some properties as for example the Château de Jau had to start their harvests already in July because of the enormous heat that followed spring. The grapes’ entire cycle was mixed up thanks to the particularly high temperatures in June. These high temperatures considerably accelerated the growth cycle and forced winemakers to adapt and accelerate the work rhythm. However, despite all these circumstances, the vintage of 2017 looks very promising. It is still difficult to determine precisely the harvests’ volume, but experts are still expecting a decline compared to 2016, which was already a year with historically low harvests (610,000 hl) compared to those of 2015 (823,000 hl).
Vintage 2017: Vineyard of Bordeaux is suffering…
Following a spring in which the vines had great difficulties to withstand the frost, drought and heavy storms, some wine estates were stolen several hundred kilos of grapes partially within only one day. That is an important financial loss; even more important for those who lost almost half of their harvest because of the climate conditions. Besides this financial impact, some winemakers are completely discouraged as they have to realize this loss of grapes, completely incapable of doing anything against it. Especially, after they had struggled for months to curb these losses.
One remembers the problems winemakers in Champagne had to struggle with several years ago and who were obliged to contact the gendarmerie in order to provide a surveillance during the day and at night. Last year, the winemakers of Burgundy had decided to tackle this problem together by organising nocturnal patrols for the days after the harvests. This year, it is the Gendarmerie of Beaune, who is responsible for the patrols…
Technology as solution for grape theft?
Winemakers and property owners should definitely prepare for the heavy storms in the next few years… Either they tackle this problem together or they contact the peacekeepers to protect their grapes…
Do property owners have to think about technological solutions if they want to control and supervise the activities on their properties?
Would technology be the next step on our vineyards? At a time when we try to return to traditional methods used by our ancestors already, it seems as if technology catches up the vineyards.