Last year’s spring frosts hit Bordeaux pretty hard, with the post-flowering cold snap taking out an average of 40% of the grape crop in April. The knock on effect to drinker and investor feelings about Bordeaux could already be felt with a luke warm reaction to the 2017 Primeurs campaign that stopped before ever really getting going. What the region needed was a good run of weather in 2018 to bounce back. But reports coming out of Bordeaux speak of tough times ahead.
Thunderstorms in regions such as Graves and Entre Deux Mers brought hailstones the size of golf balls that stripped vines on scores of vineyards. But now it looks like those cold, damp times brought with them a sleeping assassin; Mildew fungus.
Cadillac, on the southern shores of Entre Deux Mers looks to have been hit badly. The Telegraph recently spoke to two Châteaux, Bessan and Mons La Graveyre, who expect to a potential 50% drop in yield.
Interestingly, both Châteaux are organic but that’s not what has been their downfall. Conventional winemakers are just as hard hit. Organics can also still use limited amounts of copper spray, but the outbreak is just a bit too widespread and the scale so unanticipated.
This is full on being kicked when you’re down. There’s the old saying: “when you’re sat on the floor you can’t fall off”. Not sure that’ll cheer anyone up right now. My heart goes out to these farmers.