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Extent of Cognac hail damage revealed

Powerful hailstorms that hit western France at the end of last month caused “very serious damage” to 3,500 hectares of vineyards in the Cognac region.

Some areas of Cognac have suffered 80% destruction following last month’s violent hailstorms. Image credit: BNIC / Stéphane Charbeau

Trade organisation the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), has estimated that 3,500 hectares of vineyards suffered 80% destruction.

In total, more than 10,000 hectares throughout the Cognac region were affected “to varying degrees” by the sudden and violent storms that struck on Saturday 26 May.

Large hail fell mainly in the south of Charente-Maritime, the Borderies, the west of Matha and the Rouillac area, the BNIC has stated.

The trade organisation is working with the General Union of Viticulturists for AOC Cognac (UGVC), the Comité National du Pineau des Charentes, the Syndicate of Producers and Promotion of Charentais Wines, and the Chamber of Agriculture “to draw up an initial assessment” and support for producers “in this difficult context”.

In 2017, exports of Cognac hit a record high in both volume and value.

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