MOTHER NATURE has been particularly cruel this year as spring storms and frosts have caused devastating damage to much of France’s wine regions as well as several other countries including Germany, Italy and England. Champagne vineyard managers were among the first to raise the alarm over frost but it was soon realized that many regions suffered damage. The Aude region around Narbonne in Languedoc has been dramatically affected with some vines totally destroyed and in Jura it’s estimated that between 3O% and 9O% of vines suffered damage in the appellation. In Pouilly-sur-Loire, temperatures fell to -5°C for six hours. After being hit by frost in 2O16, the region is now, once again, affected. The first estimates suggested it would mean a 3O% decrease in the size of the 2O17 vintage. After losing three out of five crops in previous years, winemakers in Montlouis in the Loire Valley decided to mobilize themselves and launched seven helicopters into the skies to dry out the air and raise temperatures to stop the vineyard from freezing. In AOC Chinon in the Loire Valley, estimates suggested 2O% of vines had been affected but in Alsace, the frost was even worse, causing significant destruction, especially to Gewürztraminer vines.