2017 was not a happy time for a huge swathe of Bordeaux grape growers. An early flowering of the vines due to warmer temperatures at the start of the year was followed by a devastating frost in April, wiping out an entire year’s crop for the unlucky ones.
Would fate be cruel enough to have another go in 2018?
Photos coming out of Bordeaux following recent storms are gut wrenching. Hailstones the size of golf balls wrecked merry havoc on vines in areas like Blaye and Bourg in the north, Entre Deux Mers to the east of the city, and the famous Médoc region to the west.
One slight comfort is that the growers of Saint Emilion and Pomerol, some of the worst hit by the frosts of 2017, have been spared so far.
But man alive, your heart goes out to these boys and girls. Marginal climates like Bordeaux are famous for producing the best wines in the best years, but this really brings it home how much of a tough gig it is.
Fingers and toes crossed for better luck in the coming weeks.
PHOTO: Copyright of Dawn Jones-Cooper, Monfaucon Estate, Entre Deux Mers