A year on from the hail

You might have read that we’re a bit anxious about hail after the devastation last August. Followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook will have noticed my, ahem, occasional mention of looming storms. Mercifully, there’s been no repeat of the hail, although the constant forecasts of ’Risque de Grêle’ has brought on several sleepless nights.

Below is a collection of tweets with references to umpteen hail warnings from the French Met Office, notably in May, June and June. We now think they put ’risk of hail’ alongside most storm warnings just to cover themselves. But you never know.

(To see all the tweets, scroll through from inside the window, and ‘laid more’ if you can bear to.)

Medoc 12 July - 15

Hail damage to Cabernet vines in the Médoc, 2014


Hail is a wine-grower’s nightmare. Parts of Burgundy have been badly hit again this year, in late June, as have ‘less prestigious’ vineyards to the south of us in the Aude in July. Despite all the storm warnings, the only damaging hail of note in Bordeaux was in the northern Médoc on 8 June 2014, when around 800 hectares of AC Médoc vineyards were badly damaged (right).

It’s rotten luck for the growers – of course – but it should be noted that these 800 hectares represent just 0.7% of the Bordeaux vineyard area.

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