Marco Tinello, my friend and one of the Veneto’s top sommeliers, has been posting stirring images from France this week on his Facebook.
The photo above is from this morning in Champagne (Bar Sur Aube).
The stunning image below was posted yesterday from Chablis, where growers use fires in the vineyard to prevent frost on the vines.
Temperatures have dipped below freezing in France this week.
Yesterday, Champagne house Louis Roederer posted the following note on its Twitter: “Hard to estimate how much frost damages we had last night but seems limited… One more cold night ahead!”
Using the website Wunderground.com, I can see that temperatures also fell in Italy this week.
According to my search results, weather along the Adriatic coast dropped into the low 40s (F.) but not below freezing.
And my client in Montalcino, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, winemaker at Fattoria dei Barbi, reports today that he had to get “a couple of jackets out of mothballs” but there has been no frost or snowfall. Just rain, he wrote this morning.
Especially when it occurs after budding, spring frost can be extremely harmful to vines. Even when the plants are spared immediate damage, it can severely slow the vegetative cycle, which can cause problems down the road. I’ll keep following the story and will post news as it comes in.
Thanks to Marco for the dispatches from France, to Stefano for his update, and to the Italian wine blog Intravino for bringing the Roederer tweet to my attention.
In other news…
It’s a tough job but someone has to do it: I’ll be heading to Bush airport this afternoon to fly to the Veneto where I will be leading a series of tastings and winery visits next week for my good friend Adam Japko’s “Design and Wine Tour.”
I have a lot of great meals and wines in my near future but man, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Tracie P, Georgia P, and Lila Jane this afternoon. I miss them already.
Wish me luck and wish me speed. I’ll see you on the other side…