Worst Winter Wipes out Wine Harvest in Russia

on 28/02/12 at 9:26 am

Wine

Worst winter weather in half a century has wiped out up to half this year’s wine harvest forcing Russian producers seek government help to avert a crisis, reports Decanter.com.

Temperatures dipped as low as -30C in some areas, with Chateau Le Grand Vostock, based in Krasnodar’s Krymsk district, recording 15 days with an hourly average temperature of -15C – and three nights below -20C.

“It is really the limit of resistance for vitis vinifera – especially Merlot – even if we cultivate them with a plough,” winery director Frank Duseigneur said.

“The weather is milder and we are now pruning again… The reality of the damage will only be seen in May,” he added.

In Dagestan, leading brandy and fortified wine producer Citadel, whose vineyards are the most southerly in Russia, saw about 600ha of young vines destroyed – described by Citadel’s Oxana Oldakovskaya as ‘the most promising plots’.

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