Storms packing hail damaged vineyards covering several thousand hectares in Bordeaux’s Entre-Deux-Mers wine-growing area and the Bergerac region in southwestern France, the Agriculture Ministry reported.
Some grape plots sustained damage of as much as 80 percent from “violent” storms and “strong episodes of hail” on Aug. 2, based on a first assessment, the Paris-based ministry wrote in an e-mailed statement today. Apple and walnut trees also suffered damage, the statement showed.
Entre-Deux-Mers is a region east of the city of Bordeaux between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, producing mainly generic red, rose and white Bordeaux wines as well as designated-origin whites.
“State services are currently proceeding with an initial evaluation of the damages, with the goal of presenting a balance as soon as possible,” the ministry wrote.
Almost 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of vineyards suffered varying degrees of damage as hail struck an area as much as 40 kilometers (25 miles) long and 15 kilometers wide, La France Agricole reported, citing estimates from the Gironde agricultural chamber.
Bordeaux is France’s biggest producer of designated-origin wines. The region’s output may climb to 5.72 million hectoliters (151 million gallons) this year, equivalent to about 760 million bottles, from 5.45 million hectoliters in 2012, the ministry wrote in a forecast last month.