Friday 2 September 2011

by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

Chateau Cos d’Estounel and Cos Labory have lost vines to hail as storms swept Bordeaux – with more predicted for the weekend.

Cos d’Estournel: ‘affected’ by hail

Although the storms were localised, Saint Estephe and Pauillac were particularly badly hit, with estimates of up to 900 hectares of vines damaged following a short storm around 11am Friday morning.

Pessac Leognan, Grezillac in Entre-Deux-Mers, and Saint Andre de Cubzac have also suffered damage.

Bernard Audoy, owner of Cos Labory and president of the Saint Estephe appellation told a local newspaper that he had never seen the Cos plateau so badly affected, with both his vines and neighbouring Cos d’Estournel suffering loss of leaves and damage to berries.

Andre Lurton’s Chateau Bonnet had 20 hectares of vines affected, from a total of 300ha

Olivier Dauga, consultant to numerous estates across Bordeaux, told, ‘We have to be patient for a full assessment, but it seems likely that harvest dates will be brought forward, as there has been a lot of skin damage, which presents a risk of rot when combined with the recent hot weather.’

Until the storms, yields across Bordeaux were expected to be between  5% and 10% per cent higher than last year, after an even and abundant flowering earlier in the season.

‘Yields and quality should still be very good in most cases,’ Dauga said. ‘There is no need to panic.’