MW Topic of the Week: frost, hail, and extreme weather events


Back to the vineyards! This week we are going to talk about frost and hail, two major topics especially for regions inside France these last several years. 

Here are some exam questions that relate to this subject (forgive me for including the old ones, but I think there's often insight in them):

2016: When and how can hail cause damage at various stages of vine growth? What methods are most effective for preventing or responding to such damage?

2015: When and how does frost pose a risk to grape production? Evaluate the different methods of frost protection available to the grape grower.

1997: In the final weeks before and during harvest, a vintage may be spoilt by adverse weather conditions. To what extent can a producer adapt techniques in order to meet the problems that arise?

1994: What do vineyard owners, from various parts of the world, do about the effect of weather problems? Illustrate your answers with particular reference to heat and drought, rain and humidity, hail and frost.

1992: The 1991 vintage in Europe was affected by various climatic disasters. Discuss their impact on the vineyards and the wines produced.

One thing that I discovered when researching this topic for the Stage 1 exam was that there are two different types of frost that exert different pressures on viticulture. I think this is also an area where having some ready statistics at hand would be helpful, like what % of the Cote d'Or was damaged by hail in 2017?

It's also important to know, in the old world, which treatments are legal and which currently are not, as well as any recent changes there.

Excited to see your thoughts/outlines/examples!

Kelli, ,