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Wine News

Burgundy to stop hail using high tech generators

Burgundy’s new regional association for the study and fight against atmospheric issues, or ARELFA for short, is seeking funding from producers to employ technology in vineyards. Following several years of severe hail storms in the Burgundy area, wine producers are looking to new technology to restrict the damage caused by hail. The move follows several years of severe hail storms in Burgundy, with Volnay alone receiving six major outbursts since 2001 and several winemakers losing 90% or more of their crop on at least one occasion.

Some producers looked at anti-hail rockets, but they are prohibitively expensive and are not attractive. Attention has now switched to ground generators that cause tiny particles of silver iodide or copper acetylacetone to rise to the clouds above, where they stop the formation of hail stones. The association wants to raise €100,000 for 2014 and plans to install 34 generators, one every 10 kilometres along the Cote de Beaune and Haut-Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise and Couchois by the end of May this year. That would protect 9,000 hectares of vines.