Hailstorm levels top French vineyards

AFP-JIJI

A summer hailstorm has caused “catastrophic” damage to prestigious vineyards in France’s Burgundy region, with up to 70 percent of crops destroyed on some estates, local wine producers said Wednesday.

The storms on Tuesday, which saw strong hail accompanied by high winds, caused widespread damage in some of France’s best-known areas for wine, including Cote de Beaune, Volnay, Pommard and Savigny-les-Beaune.

Thiebault Huber, the head of the Volnay wine producers’ union, said such heavy hail could do damage to vineyards lasting up to three years.

The storm was the latest in a string of difficulties to hit Burgundy wine producers, including flooding in the spring and hailstorms last year that destroyed 60 percent of crops on some estates.