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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Hail damages 100 ha in Anjou around Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay

Bad news for producers around Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. Initial figures from the professionals estimate that around 100 hectares of vignes were damaged on Monday 2nd May by what was a particularly strong downpour on the Anjou vineyards. The cloud was very localised and dropped impressive quantities of hailstones along a west-east axis from La Jumelliere as far as Beaulieu-sur-Layon passing by Chaudefonds-sur-Layon and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. Sporadic downpours were also signalled in Savennières, Saint-Macaire-du-Bois and La Varenne.

Unfortunately for Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay, 70 of the affected hectares were within this one commune.

I don't have an up to date picture of the damage to vineyards but this is the kind of damage that hail can do to a vineyard (this was in Alsace after a localised hailstorm in June 2007).

Tony Rousseau (responsable communal de la Fédération viticole) said '18 growers out of the 45 in the commune have been affected'. In certain areas hailstones fell to a depth of 70mm whereas in others only a few mm were recorded. The degee of damage was random and dependent upon grape variety. 'Grolleau is much more sensitive than the Cabernet. Certain parcels will lose 20% of their harvest but, for others, it may go as far as 70%. For certain growers the losses could go even further than that'.

Those affected will know the extent of the damage soon. Flowering (which generally happens between the 17th and 25th June) is expected to begin around the 17th May, a full month ahead, the consequence of a particulary dry and hot Spring.

This report was taken from today's Courrier de l'Ouest.

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