Above: weather-damaged Pinot Blanc grapes in Franciacorta at the Arcari + Danesi winery. “We’ve lost 30 percent of our harvest due to extreme weather,” said grower Giovanni Arcari in text message this morning.
Cloudbursts, high winds, and other extreme weather events caused widespread vineyard and property damage and even loss of life across Italy over the weekend.
In one tragic case, two children were killed when a tree, toppled by wind gusts, fell on their campsite along the Tuscan coast on Saturday.
Last weekend’s weather events came on the heels of a series of severe storms that have vexed Italian winemakers and farmers throughout the month of August.
According to mainstream media reports, an intense storm that struck Valpolicella (Verona province, Veneto) on Sunday, August 23 caused an estimated €6 million in vineyard damage.
Over the weekend, Verona province experienced more extreme weather. The video below, posted on the Veneto-based journal Il Dolomiti YouTube, is dated Saturday, August 28, 2020:
In a blog post published yesterday on its website, Coldiretti (Italy’s national agricultural confederation) wrote that:
- A crazy August has been marked by nearly 10 storms each day throughout the [Italian] peninsula, including torrential rain, tornados, cloudbursts, and hailstorms of anomalous proportions…
- In just a few seconds, many farms have lost an entire year of production. But there is also structural damage to fields that won’t be able to produce crops for a long time…
- We are faced with the obvious consequences of climate change. In Italy, the exception has become the rule as weather events are undergoing a tropicalization. This can be seen in the high frequency of violent storms, seasonal shifts, brief but intense rainstorms, rapid changes in weather from sunny skies to inclement weather, [and] remarkable temperature shifts that compromise crops in the field.
Over the last decade, extreme weather events have more than €14 billion in agricultural damage in Italy according to authors of the post.