An email about the weather and our new fridge – they reckoned it couldn’t be done, what do they know!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Occasionally, in amongst the thinly veiled sales pitches, the feeble attempts at humour and the inept news round-ups, we turn our attention to two of our favourite topics: wine and weather.  As a result, this week’s missive has pretty much written itself since the two W’s have collided in a quite spectacular fashion of late, and not without a degree of collateral damage.  Let’s use France as our yardstick here:

Please do read the article, but if you don’t have time here are the key points:

First the good news

·         a calmer weather system is expected in the second half of August

Now the other news

·         From 1 to 31 July, lightning struck France 527,496 times – a rate five times higher than last year.  On the 27th July a record 284,163 strikes of lightening were counted across the country

·         On Wednesday, 750 residents in the Loire region saw the roofs of their houses peeled off by heavy hail, while 23,000 homes were left without electricity in the Dordogne and Limousin departments

·         Last Friday night, in the area of Entre-Deux-Mers which produces much of the early drinking claret that we all enjoy (Chateau Deville anyone?), there was a quick 10 minute hailstorm.  The report from Bordeaux’s agricultural association, the FDSEA, estimated that up to 5,000 hectares of vines in the region have been wiped out in the storm, equivalent to 5% of Bordeaux’s annual production

·         The week before, gale force winds, heavy rain and hail stones the size of prunes wreaked havoc across vineyards in Bordeaux, Champagne and Cognac.  The storm damaged grapes at Château Lafite and uprooted its willow trees, while the roof of neighbouring Pauillac estate, Pichon Lalande, was significantly damaged.  Champagne also suffered, losing 300 hectares in the villages around Epernay and the Côtes de Blancs to the hail

·         And as we mentioned previously, a hail storm on Monday 17th June caused widespread damage across much of the Loire communes Vouvray and Reugny.  Hail stones ‘as big as eggs’ were reported and around 1000ha across Vouvray were affected, just under half the 2,300ha appellation (thanks to The Drinks Business for this info)

So France is looking a bit buggered, pardon my French.  I don’t have weather reports for Spain and Italy, but after drought caused smaller production in 2012, they both need to avoid more bad luck.  California is picking early this year (10 days according to our sources) but this apparently is a positive thing although I’m sure we won’t see it reflected in their prices.  Australia’s harvest was the largest in 5 years though.  Guess what we’re all drinking next year…

Anyway, with the potential ruin of the 2013 vintage firmly in his sights, Wayne realised last week that it was time for us to diversify a bit.  So he bought a new fridge.  It is now happily ensconced at the front of the shop and has been unofficially named ‘The Beer Fridge’.  It has the same local beers as always, but now there are more of them cold.  And more cold cider.  And more chilled sweet wines/sherry/Madeira.  Even a couple of bottles of decent Burgundy are lounging around on the bottom shelf.  So more than a beer fridge really – come and have a look.


The wine course is filling up nicely, as are the two Wine and Cheese evenings, see attached for info on all of these.

#moutardroutard hits the road to Spain next week so unless you want my wife to win this bottle of Champagne on 1st October, get snapping.  @parkvintners is our handle good buddy, what’s your twenty?

Weekend drinks will be served from 5pm today and all day tomorrow – as Moutard is travelling to Iberia we thought we would too – we’ll be showing Campos de Celtas 2011 Albariño (12.99) from Rias Baixas, Galicia and then we’ll hop over the border and taste a brand new red listing from the Douro – Doural Tinto (9.99) made from the grapes that go into Port, but in a dry style.

An email about the weather and our new fridge – they reckoned it couldn’t be done, what do they know!

All hail!

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