MORE BAD NEWS for Burgundy. Hailstones the size of golf balls pelted the Chablis region this summer. It was the final nail in the coffin of this year’s crop following unseasonable frosts and rain in April. More than 1OOO acres of prized Chardonnay vineyards, especially in the southwest of the region, were all but destroyed by poor weather which also hit the Cognac and Beaujolais-producing region of Burgundy, prompting the French farming federation to declare a state of “catastrophe”. The hailstones eliminated and hope of recovery in the Burgundy region which has suffered from poor yields over the past few years. Crops were down by 3O% in 2O13 and 2O14, and 1O% last year. This new hit is anticipated to force the price up significantly. Wine buyers will likely spend an additional $2 per bottle for this year’s vintage, which will be in short supply. But because it will take a few years for the vines to recover, the price of Chablis will remain high for the next two to three years. Even last year’s vintage will be more expensive due to supply and demand and people are being advised to stock up now. Wine drinkers should also brace themselves for other price hikes as many other wines in the region have also been affected. Burgundy and some areas of the Loire Valley had very poor yields this year due to adverse weather which will also affect the cost of popular wines like Sancerre.