The Vouvray syndicat have released a statement regarding the hail, on which I reported yesterday morning here.
The press release confirms the information I received (and reported on Twitter) yesterday; two-thirds of the vineyard were hit. Of 3000 hectares eligible for the appellation, there are currently 2200 hectares planted, so this means approximately 1500 hectares were affected.
The damage ranges from 20% on some plots to 100% on others. Those with 100% damage have clearly lost everything for this year, as there is no hope of recovery and production of ripe grapes before harvest would be due. Indeed, some have suggested that the damage to the vines was enough to knock out next year’s harvest as well.
The worst affected communes were Parçay-Meslay, Vouvray, Rochecorbon, Vernou-sur-Brenne and Reugny (five of the eight communes eligible for the Vouvray appellation).
Above is a picture of some hail damage, taken by Peter Hahn of Clos de la Meslerie. Peter’s vines were undamaged, so he is one of the lucky ones. Just a few hundred metres away, though, vines have been stripped bare of leaves and the embryonic flower bunches, as shown above.
The press release indicates that syndicat representatives will be meeting with “local and national government officials” to discuss possible aid. Although, as the release points out, hail is not classed as a “natural disaster” and so I am sure the vignerons aren’t holding their breath (update: actually things look more positive than this old cynic imagined – further details from local authorities suggest aid may be forthcoming). With this in mind it has been great to see some support expressed for the growers, with fans of François Pinon on the Wine Disorder forum obviously keen to do something. Well done to them.