burgundy 2017 vintage damage

Burgundy and Beaujolais crop destroyed by July 10th storm with incredible hail and wind

Beaujolais hail storm july 10 2017

On July 10th, winemakers in parts of Burgundy and Beaujolais had a bad, bad day. A storm hit the area with torrential rain, hail and wind. Vineyards in Fleurie, Régnié, Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, Chiroubles, Chénas had very substantial damage to the grapes for their 2017 vintage. There was even a tornado in in Moulin-à-Vent. The path of the storm was almost identical to that which hit the region in 2016.

Beaujolais had the worst of the storm but the famous Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise also had some damage. From Chambolle-Musigny to the southern part of Gevrey-Chambertin as well as Fixin and Marsannay. The area around Beaune wasn't impacted but the southern part of the Marsannay appelation had around 50 percent crop damage.

As you can see in the video hailstones battered the vines together with high winds stripping leaves and destroying the fragile grapes. The still green young berries which were impacted by the hailstones will eventually fall from the wine and die. Some domaines lost 70 percent of their crop within minutes, particularly Moulin-à-Vent. Fortunately areas where Beaujolais Nouveau grapes come and the vast majority of the crus were not affected. 

The winemakers and domaines that have been affected by the storm are understandably upset and disappointed given the weather so far in 2017 and the potential for the vintage.

Domaine G. Roumier that has vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny and Morey-St.-Denis, said "It is not disaster, but the same grapes that were looking just perfect look different today. The northern part of Chambolle-Musigny, as well as a large area in Morey-St.-Denis seems to have received the worst damages." The Domaine estimates 10 to 20 percent loss of the crop and now there is the risk of mold if the end of August is humid.

A tough year for French winemakers. Low yields in Bordeaux and Burgundy mean more pricey wines for lovers of French wine unfortunately when the vintage is released.