07 July, 2001

Destruction after heavy hail

The thunderstorms of this last week accompagnied by very violent showers has destroyed a number of vineyards in Champagne. Hopefully ours is not amongst them.

According to the CIVC (Comité Interprofesionnel du Vin de la Champagne) at least 2.400 hectares in 35 communes are destroyed completely or partially. It is hailstorms especially in the night between July 4th and 5th that has caused damages of between 20 and 100 procent of the vines themselves and their leaves and grapes as well.

Floodings and mudslides
The summerstorms have caused floodings several places as well. Up to 100 mm of rain has fallen in a very short time - count minutes, not hours - normally you get 20 mm in one month.

We hope - of course - that our vineyards on the other side of Loisy-en-Brie is not damaged. But as late as yesterday we had reports from my mother-in-law about no warm water in the house caused by thunderstorms, so we can no longer be content knowing that the thunderstorms always seem to follow the river Marne. It has reached our part of the country as well.

In Verzy we have seen lots of stones and mud on the road downhill to the big national road. The mud and the stones - and I do not talk about gravels, the calibre is more like the one you find in beaches - is whipped up from the paths between the vineyards and poured by the water, as it rushes downhill as the great Flood itself. The green men are busy cleaning up the mess. At the moment they may have some spare time as they can skip watering the flowers of the commune.

Damages caused by hail however are somewhat rare. It has not been reported as a major problem sinde the year 2000, where destructions were found in 11.000 hectares in more than 100 communes, says La Journée Viticole.

På dansk

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