les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Late frosts

While British friends have been playing in the snow, our gallant wine growers have been fighting the frosts. Last night it got to -6°C here in the Gironde, and the problem is that this comes after a week of warm sunshine, so the vines have started budding.

A sharp frost can kill the buds, and that means less shoots from the vine, which means fewer harvests of grapes and less wine. 

So the winegrowers use various techniques to try to combat the frosts.



Candles - a bit like garden flares but on a bigger scale, some pepper their vineyards with these braziers to raise the overnight temperature just that little bit.

Windmills - some vineyards have windmills installed that are powered at night to keep the air moving and stop the frost settling on the vines.

Helicopters - I've never seen or heard this, but some areas hire helicopters to fly over the vineyards and churn up the air so the frost doesn't settle.

I'm to sure how long this cold snap is due to last, but for the winegrowers it can't end soon enough.

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