I’m saddened to report that this morning a hailstorm cut a path across Touraine, depositing huge hailstones across much of Vouvray. The damage has been extensive, with some vignerons suffering 100% hail damage to the vineyards.
The hailstorm cut a path from west to east over Tours, running across the northern part of the Vouvray vineyard. The weather map to the right shows the location of the storm, the red dot being Vernou, just east of Vouvray, and well within the Vouvray appellation of course.
I spoke to Tania Carême, Vincent Carême’s wife, who reported most in the commune were still in a state of shock. The hail stones were as large as hen’s eggs, and in some places piled up in drifts 20 centimetres deep. They damaged cars (smashing windscreens and denting the metalwork), battered roofs, and of course where they hit vineyards they stripped the vines in entirety, leaving only bare wooden stems. This late in the season, this surely means no chance of recovery.
A few but not all have suffered total devastation. François Pinon has reported all his vineyards have been hit with hail, with the entire crop lost. Sebastien Brunet has suffered extensive but not total devastation. François Chidaine’s Vouvray vineyards have been hit, although those of Peter Hahn have largely been spared I believe. Vincent Carême has suffered across 5 hectares, with about 80% loss on those (largely the sparkling wine vineyards), although another 10 hectares were not hit. Le Peu Morier, on the première côte, was not hit, but other vineyards just 100 metres further on were. Montlouis is totally untouched – it is the northern section of Vouvray that has been hit hardest, especially up the Vallée de Cousse, Chançay and Vaugondy.
It seems as though the damage has not quite been 100%, but it looks massive. I will hopefully bring more news and maybe pictures later.