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 one 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.
The Rhone Valley had frost on Thursday the 9th of April caused by a cold front coming from the Arctic. According to Phillippe Pellaton (President of InterRhone) being interviewed on the local radio station the Cotes du Rhone area was very badly affected.
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 southern part of the Rhone Valley has benefited us this year. Unfortunately about 40% of the replacement vines have been affected They should comeback but will be weakened we will have to remove any fruit that develops. We would carry out this operation anyway with weak ones and reduce the bunches with vigorous ones.
Normally we do not experience any more frost after the 23rd of April.
This is a mature vine and one of the shoots has frost damage the only one that I saw in this vineyard.
This is a view of the entire Grenache vineyard I planted in 1991.It is a long terrace with a drop of about 3 metres on one end and about 5 metres at the other end. 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 machine about 20 metres on six occasions to harvest with the drop on my left side.
This our Syrah at Vayere (half field), 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 are sheltered from the Mistral by Cypress trees.
The other half is now Viognier a white variety, I would 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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