French vineyards seek innovative solutions to fight climate change
Chablis, France, Sep 27 (EFE).- Having to ignite fires to save their vineyards from frost in April was a clear and loud wake up call for Burgundy wine-growers.
The climate crisis is moving fast and the industry must find an immediate solution to save their grapes.
But after the French ministry of agriculture reported the country is experiencing the biggest agricultural catastrophe of the century, the sector understood that a profound transformation was needed in order to survive.
On average, the industry has seen a 30 to 40% loss in production according to estimates by the ministry, and some of the worst affected appellations have lost 100% of their yield.
Wine production this year is expected to be historically low and down 29% compared to 2020, according to the official data.
Chablis, a town in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and home to one of the world’s best known white wines, was one of the worst affected.
For winegrowers in the region, climate change has not always been bad. In the last 40 years, the rise in temperatures has resulted in the agricultural land extending from 700 hectares to almost 6,000.
But more recent weather phenomena have been less welcome.
“We are entering a second and more complicated phase,” Damien Leclerc, general manager of the La Chablisienne cooperative, told Efe.
Now, the biggest enemy is frost, which puts everything at risk, he added.