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Wine News

Heatwave risks vines in Europe, but England’s vines enjoy the sunshine

Record temperatures were recorded in Paris, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands as the current heatwave continues to damage and kill vines in France.

The UK broke its own 2003 record of 38.5°C, hitting 38.7°C in Cambridge, near some of the UK's best Bacchus vineyards. But in France this is the second heatwave in a month and it has taken its toll on the vines.

Ten days ago, France was already in the grip of a heatwave and vineyards in Hérault, in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, and Gard in the Rhône, had seen temperatures reach more than 45°C in the shade, and some have reported burn damage to grapes. President of the Hérault Chamber of Commerce, Jérôme Despey, who is also a winemaker, said: “Temperatures reached such levels that the vines appear to have been blowtorched, literally grilled. Grapes were burned and the leaves dried out.” He estimated that 60-80% of his temperature tolerant Carignan grapes where particularly badly damaged.

No reports are available yet for this week's heatwave, but more losses are expected.