Frosts of the 20th and 21st of april : brrrrr !

The risk of spring frosts was high this year as spring came too soon in March with high temperatures. We had integrated this risk in our farming: late pruning for the plots at risk, no work on the ground , and grass kept low. We were fearing the worst and it happened during those two nights of the 20th and 21st of April.

Status around us

The whole county of the Aude was affected by these frosts. The forecast were predicting a real cooldown from the 20th of April but no temperature below 0°

10 plots hit by the frost in Beauregard

The temperature close to the buildings was slightly negative (-0.5°C) during the 2 nights 20 and 21st of April. Enough for the frost to hit us, not on the whole wineyard, but on the coldest parts of it: the lowest plots were hit whereas the hills were not.

Two nights with negative temperature in Beauregard (outside building temp)

 

2 plots frozen at 100%, but with a hope of resumption

To face the risk of spring frosts, we decided to prun our plots at risk as late as possible: we ended the work the 14th of April whereas some buds were already there. These plots pruned lately were frozen at 100%. As not all the buds were opened, we still hope to harvest a few bunch of grapes at fall.

 

Frosts of the 20 and 21 of April 2017 in Beauregard on Bizanet town in Corbières : plots frozen at 100%

Frosts of the 20 and 21 of April 2017 in Beauregard on Bizanet town in Corbières : plots frozen at 100%

Our young grapevines decimated

Another plot really affected: it is our young vine sewed last year as 90% of them were entirely “grilled” by the frost. No immediate loss as we were not harvesting these young vines anyway so they can grow by their own. But will they survive? they were already deeply hit by the drought of the late summer : 15% already had to be replaced this winter. Here is a second spring that starts in a brutal way for these young vines!

The young wine is really exposed to the frost as all its leaves are closed to the ground

The young wine is really exposed to the frost as all its leaves are closed to the ground

7 plots partially hit

7 other plots are more or less hit. The frost made is duty but leaves and grapes are remaining, so the story goes on and that’s a good fortune. It will go along with other losses as long as the grapes are not safe in the winery: the ones which should survive from the frost will be maybe eaten by the birds, the wild boars or the illness (mildiou, oidium…) or cut by the hail. The ones which remain, we will harvest them with much care…..

A white frost clearly visible at dawn on the plot "du bourrelet" freshly mowed

A white frost clearly visible at dawn on the plot “du bourrelet” freshly mowed

Karine et Nicolas, affected

Late pruning by mean on a plot at risk for the frost, we began the pruning whereas the leaves and buds were already well opened

Late pruning by mean on a plot at risk for the frost, we began the pruning whereas the leaves and buds were already well opened

Frost of the 20 and 21 of April at Beauregard, bizanet town in Corbières: plots frozen at 100%

Frost of the 20 and 21 of April at Beauregard, bizanet town in Corbières: plots frozen at 100%

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