Risk of frost: Yonne winegrowers ready for sleepless nights

“I haven’t slept all night, but life goes on during the day…” From 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. this Saturday morning, Emeline Rouyer was in her vineyards. The rest will take place on the roads to ensure deliveries, before another sleepless night in anticipation. “It was close to 0°C but there were no negative temperatures”, continues the winemaker from the Petit Béru estate, based in Tonnerrois.

To protect herself from the risk of frost, she relies on the smoke and heat of straw bale fires. “It’s not super effective, but it limits the breakage. I’m doing everything I can to save my skin. I settled down two years ago, I had covid the first year, freezing last year … “So in anticipation of the temperature drops that had been announced in the night from Friday to Saturday then during those to come, she monitors the ranks, a cot in the back of the truck. “I watch in real time, I have several different weather stations, I watch according to satellite analyzes too. Next night, for sure, I will have to light up,” said Emeline Rouyer.

premium Frost and flakes threaten the vines of Yonne

A little higher, in Irancy, no night alert for Christophe Ferrari. “The advantage today is that we have fairly reliable, very precise technologies and applications. At our lowest, we went down to 0.1°C last night. It’s tomorrow morning (Sunday, editor’s note ) and Monday that the forecast is lowest.” Its pinot noir vines are not the most advanced. However, “it is very heterogeneous from one plot to another, nuances the winemaker. We are not at the point of last year, but it remains in the minds. We should not make so little wine. That would be catastrophic for everyone.”

“Everything is installed, we are ready to fire”

In the night to come and especially in the next, between Sunday and Monday, Météo France announces temperatures of up to -3 ° C, especially in Chablis and Tonnerrois. “Everything is installed, we are ready to fire, reacts Adrien Michaut, president of the Federation for the defense of the Chablis appellation.” Last night, no device was triggered. Anti-freeze towers, candles, wind turbines… “Heating cables too, this is what is developing the most”, notes the winemaker from Beine. This Saturday afternoon, the wind was a good omen to chase away the dreaded humidity. “If it rains tonight, it’s over.”

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Caroline Girard

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