Champagne crops hit badly by frost
It is feared that heavy frosts in April may have affected up to a third of some Champagne vineyards. A warm March meant some vines were showing early signs of growth with early budding but temperatures dropped to -3°C in the Côte des Blancs with villages like Avize, Cramant and Chouilly the worst hit, while there was more widespread damage in the Côte des Bar as temperatures there fell to -5°C. Chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs and the Grande Vallée de la Marne was said to be the most vulnerable, being more advanced with two or three leaves already growing in some well-exposed vineyards.
Moët & Chandon say they could potentially lose 7-8% of their crop, with the worst damage in the grands crus of Avize and Aÿ, where up to 18% has been damaged. Other producers report that up to 30% of their vines were affected, but that it is too early to see the impact on the 2012 harvest as new buds could still grow.