World news – Icy spring risks ruin for French vineyards


France’s vineyard owners have predicted a disastrous harvest after some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded created frost that has decimated vines across the country.

As cherries, apricots and other fruits were also affected, the French said Government an « agricultural calamity » and opened the way for some farmers to receive state subsidies.

The National Winemaking Council said the frost that spread across France this week was « one of the worst in recent decades ».

Although it was too early to give a financial estimate of the damage, « we already know that we will have a very small harvest in 2021, » said Jean-Marie Barillère, chairman of the council.

The French Wine sector is already affected by the effects of the pandemic and restaurant closings.


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