Tuesday, May 18

IN PHOTOS: French vineyards lit with candles to protect themselves from frost

In fact, the beautiful images are put out by thousands of candles, lit by French winemakers in an attempt to save their wine vintages from low temperatures, night frosts and even snow.

From Chablis to Champagne, even in the southwest around Bordeaux, a biting cold has caused the ground to freeze below 0 ° C.

Seen from above, it seemed that all the fields were on fire.

“We put about 1,000 candles on three hectares, but we decided not to light them overnight from Monday to Tuesday,” winemaker Claire Lelais in the south of Sarthe, northwestern France, told the French news site. Actu.fr.

“It was cold, but there wasn’t too much humidity.”

A vintner at the Daniel-Etienne Defaix wine estate near Chablis, Burgundy. Photo: JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

At a price of 10 euros per candle, he explained that they were unable to protect the 350-400 hectares of their fields.

Frozen vines. Photo: Jeff PACHOUD / AFP

But the next night, “the buds were going to be covered in ice,” he said, so they lit the fires.

“We’ll know in a few days if it worked,” Lelais said.

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In Champagne, further north, the winemaker Basile Pauthier, had spent several nights in the open air trying to rescue his harvest from the cold.

“Those with Pinot Meunier will be saved more,” he told the wine magazine. Vitisphere on Wednesday, explaining that this grape variety was “later than Pinot Noir and especially Chardonnay”

Pauthier, who also leads wine projects at the Interprofessionnel Committee of Champagne (CIVC), said he was more concerned about the areas specializing in white wine.

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Thursday was to be another night of freezing temperatures and “the worst night” for winemakers in the South, according to Vitisphere.


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