Hailstorm Ravages Chablis Vineyards In French Region Of Burgundy

By Reuters
Hailstorm Ravages Chablis Vineyards In French Region Of Burgundy

A violent hailstorm ravaged vineyards last week in Chablis in the French region of Burgundy, with hailstones the size of ping pong balls slicing off leaves and damaging vines, winemakers said on Thursday.

The storm that struck northern France overnight also caused mudslides that led to at least one death, a 57-year-old woman, injured another person and damaged several houses.

'Rock Bottom'

The full extent of the damage caused to the Chablis vineyards remains unclear but winemaker Laurent Pinson said his most badly damaged vineyards had suffered losses of around 85%-90% while others were at around 20%-25%.

"Our morale is at rock bottom. We are losing our harvest on the affected plots and although there will be a harvest, it will only be a small one," he told Reuters, adding that nothing could be recovered. "What is destroyed is destroyed."


Another winemaker in Chablis, Julie Fevre, stressed that the hailstorm had only lasted a few minutes.


"We've never seen anything like this, it's dramatic," she told BFM TV.

French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said on the social media platform X that authorities were trying to assess what kind of support they could offer to the Chablis wine growers.

Chablis Region

Violent hailstorms also wrecked vineyards in the Chablis region in the spring of 2016.

It is not the first time that the Chablis region has been hit by hail in the spring. Violent storms had already wreaked havoc vineyards in 2016.