Devastating frost in France: In most of France, temperatures dipped below freezing this week, damaging young buds and sparking fears for growers. In parts of Champagne, last night’s temperatures reached -6 degrees Celsius. Producers are estimating losses up to 80%. [Decanter]
Silver Oak purchases Ovid: The Duncan family, which owns Silver Oak and Twomey wineries, has purchased Ovid for approximately $50 million. An estate vineyard and winery on Pritchard Hill, Ovid produces just 2,000 cases of wine per year, most of it sold directly to consumers for super-premium prices. It's a new sort of investment for the Duncans. [SF Chronicle]
Henriot buys majority stake of Beaux Frères: Maisons & Domaines Henriot of France made its first US investment by purchasing majority ownership of Willamette Valley’s Beaux Frères. Winemaker Michael Etzel remains a partner, and Robert Parker Jr., his brother-in-law, retains a small percentage of his shares. Founded in 1986, the winery is known for its Pinot Noir. [Wine Spectator]
Burgundy’s new hail shield: After several years of particularly damaging hail storms, Burgundy is taking action by setting up a network of generators that send particles of silver iodide into the clouds to stop the formation of hailstones. The cloud seeding system, already being used in parts of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and southwest France, should be set up by June. [Telegraph]
Taking on terroir: Bianca Bosker, author of Cork Dork, offers a comprehensive overview of the concept of and arguments surrounding terroir. Presenting history, science, varying opinions, and more, she questions who the concept has helped and harmed over the years, from the industry to drinkers to growers. [Food & Wine]
What do you think?
What have you heard from France about the frosts this past week, and especially last night?
Kelli White, our senior staff writer, started a great conversation about the Ovid purchase here. Click over to read and chime in.
What trends do these purchases suggest?
Bosker does a great job covering the many facets of the conversation around terroir. Was anything new to you? What did you think of her conclusions? And don't answer without reading, or at least thoroughly skimming, the article!
What else have you been reading this week?
Gregory Stokes, Victoria O'Bryan - This article, published today by Wine Spectator, offers more detail about the broader damage throughout Italy and France and the ongoing weather-related threats.