This year we have included the white wines of Domaine Abbatucci, for us the best whites in Corsica and among the greatest in France.
Their main building housing their ageing cellar (thus the 2019 and 2020 vintages) unfortunately went up in smoke last Tuesday night.
The descent of polar air in the middle of last week swept across France and caused important destructions in vineyards and orchards.
More than the intensity of the cold, it is the extent (from the north to the south of France, including Corsica) and the duration (three consecutive mornings) that make this spring frost exceptional:
- on April 6: -5.0°C in Blois, -4.9°C in Chalon sur Saône, -4.8°C in Angers...
- on April 7: -5.4°C in Chalon sur Saône, -4.9°C in Tusson (Cognac), -3.2°C in Vendays (Médoc)...
- on April 8: -5.5°C in Prades (Hérault), -4.6°C in Castillon, -4.4°C in Mâcon, -4.2°C in Avignon...
The damage is certainly considerable, especially since the development of the vines had been accelerated by the summer heat of the last days of March (26.0°C in Paris on March 31).
The final results of these frosts - and of those in progress this week - will not be known before a fortnight when the buds will start growing again (or not?). But we already know that the Côte Rôtie appellation has been devastated with expected losses of -70% to -90%.
Two studies have recently demonstrated a protective effect of wine compounds against coronavirus:
- American researchers discovered last January that polyphenols in grapes and wine prevent the virus from attaching to human cells (www.vitisphere.com/news-93204).
- More recently, the Taiwan Medical University found that tannins in wine inhibit two key enzymes of the virus, preventing it from entering cell tissue.
No hasty conclusion about the benefits of a hydro-alcoholic solution for internal use...