A Frost in Burgundy: Am I Out There With the Heaters?

Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer

This month I met with a local winemaker, Susan Danenburger of Danenburger Family Vineyards. She told me a story of a cold spring season that drew her (and everyone she knows) into the vines with fires, heaters, blankets, warm water…anything that would protect the baby vines from frost damage. This technique is practical, time honored and ancient. Calling up fire to sustain us has been a human necessity since the first flame was lit.

This concept, of giving deeply of effort, energy and focus, has a bit of influence in our house now. Whenever we feel we’ve cut a corner or given up too soon, we ask ourselves:

Am I Out There With the Heaters? 

Am I bringing my all, fighting nature for this bit of destiny?

This week, vignerons in Burgundy saw temperatures drop below freezing. Like Susan, they instinctively warmed the vines, providing for them creature comforts necessary for survival. It’s not unlike parenting: nothing is held back in the course of seeing babies thrive. According to The Drinks Business, “An initial report from the Burgundy interprofession (BIVB) to the drinks business explained that the phenomenon was “extremely” rare but that it affected vineyards across the entirety of Burgundy and that even vineyards that usually escape such freezes have been affected.

The higher vineyards in Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois appear to have been the worst affected, the north of the Côte de Beaune (Savigny, Chorey and down to Meursault, Pommard and Volnay) was also severely touched and apparently Marsannay in the Côte de Nuits.”

I saw the most incredible images on Facebook from a photographer named Aurélien Ibanez. He was in the vineyards with the vignerons in Chablis, in northern Burgundy. I share these images with Aurélien’s permission and I encourage you to like his page on Facebook. He is from Bourgogne and offers gorgeous and sensitive photos of his region.

He shared his impression: les vignerons sont sur le pied de guerre. 

The winemakers were on war footing.

Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer

 

Chablis 6
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
chablis 4
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
Chablis 3
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
Chablis 2
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer
Chablis 1
Used with permission by Aurélien Ibanez, photographer

 

 

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Michigan Man says:

    Absolutely stunning photography

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill Barth says:

      Isn’t it? Truly sensitive & powerful. Thanks for reading & commenting!

      Like

  2. talkavino says:

    I know it is a big problem for the grape growers, but the pictures are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill Barth says:

      Really incredible. I honestly gasped when I saw them. Thanks for reading & commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. curiousprovence says:

    wow! what an amazing thing to see.This must be so stressful for the vignerons. If I lived in the region I would love to help. Anything for the wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill Barth says:

      Such a stressor! Making wine relies so heavily on nature…

      Thanks for chiming in. Can’t wait to read up on your blog.

      Like

  4. carolcliffe says:

    Wow! Stunning photography to accompany a stunning piece of writing. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and I’m delighted to have discovered you via #AllAboutFrance linky. Looking forward to more!

    Like

  5. Gosh you’re right, Aurelien is an amazing photographer…I hope the local vignerons managed to protect their vines from that nasty (but very photogenic) frost. Thanks for linking to #AllAboutFrance

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill Barth says:

    Thanks Pheobe— after this was published, Chablis got chewed up by hail. Some producers are concerned about majority crop loss….

    Thank you for #AllAboutFrance linkup & the great content you circulate. Cheers!!

    Like

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