Hail Destroys Vineyards, Kills Child
In April last year, a late frost, struck the Cognac region, damaging a good portion of the vineyards. The frost was bad news for Cognac producers, including Hennessy, who already projected Hennessy V.S. shortages for later in 2017 and was hoping to add to its eau-de-vie stock with strong growing season last year. Those hopes were dashed again over the weekend.
The Cognac industry took a further blow on May 26 as a violent hailstorm struck. According to Reuters, one in seven Cognac vineyards were impacted by the storm. Mother nature’s devastating hail storm also took the life a child who was hit by falling tree branch.
Twenty minute journalist @mibosredon captured these images of the aftermath of Saturday’s hailstorm.
— mibosredon (@mibosredon) May 26, 2018
According to reports, the Cognac vineyards were pelleted for a terrifying ten to fifteen minute spree with large pebble sized hail.
Preliminary Assessment of Vineyard Damage
The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) the Cognac interprofessional organization that acts on behalf of all Cognac growers and firms of the region said in a communique dated May 26, 2018:
“Our vineyards were again hit by a violent episode of hail.
In this difficult moment, the BNIC, its elected officials and its teams express their greatest support to the winegrowers of Charente-Maritime and Charente whose vines were destroyed or damaged.
Our services are currently in the field to evaluate the precise impact of this episode on our vineyards.”
Two years ago the Cognac region was also hit by hail storm. The extent of the economic impact of spring storms in Cognac for three straight years is not yet known.