This is a Grenache vine and you can see the fruit bunches have developed, frost damage at this stage or later is very serious for the yield.
This our Pradel vineyard on of our early vineyards, you can see the Castellas in the background, the village is about 100m above sea level, we are below that here.
There was a Rhone valley had frost on Thursday the 9th of April caused by a cold front coming from the north, according to Phillippe Pellaton the Cotes du Rhone area has suffered badly affecting vineyards and orchards, interviewed on the local radio station.
On Thursday we were asked to check our vineyards for damage by the Cooperative because they have now taking out insurance against frost damage.
We have been lucky because our mature vineyards have hardly been touched, it looks as if being in the south has benefited us this year. But the replacement vines have been affected about 40% of them. They should comeback but will be weaken, we will remove any fruit that develops. We would carry out this operation any way with weak ones and reduce the bunches with vigorous ones.
The latest frost here was on the 21st-22nd April several years ago, by the current weather fore cast we should not be affected again this year.
This is a mature vine and one of the shoots has frost damage the only one that I saw in this vineyards.
This is a view of the entire vineyard Grenache I planted this in 1991, a long terrace at this end there is a drop o about 3 metres at the other end about 5 metres. It is very difficult to enter, leave and work with the harvesting machine. Most of the rows do not run the entire length of the vineyard, either ending on one side or the other. at the far end I have to reverse the about 20 metres on six occasions to harvest with th drop on my left side.
This our Syrah at Vayere (half), split by inheritance, you can see the other half past our vineyard. they both have been replanted since then, ours in 2013. It was pruned well before ours you should be able to see a difference in growth. you may be able to notice that the first half a dozen vines are more advanced that is because they a sheltered from the Mistral by Cyprus trees.
The other half is now Viogner a white variety, i never plant that: very irregular production, they regret it. it has been established on a tressel system but not as high as ours.
We have had a small amount of frost damage at the bottom, also in a Grenache vineyards just to the left and another of our Syrah vineyard. Again a very small amount of damage but the replacements have suffered.
We are not going to try to make an insurance claim.
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