Bordeaux winemakers seek government bailout after devastating hailstorm

French wineries and vineyard owners in the Entre-deux-Mers region in south eastern Bordeaux are seeking government assistance in order to avoid bankruptcy after last weekend’s “catastrophic” hailstorm, which affected an estimated 20,000ha, reported France 24.

Seven thousand hectares were completely destroyed according to the Chamber of Agriculture in the region.

Bernard Farges, former president of AOC of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur, said: “It was a brutal and intense storm. The vines stood no chance.”

Most small-scale winemakers in the area affected do not insure their crop. Winemakers are requesting assistance in the form of compensation, tax breaks and social security breaks.

The devastation of the vines is not an isolated incidence in France. Late last month, Burgundy was hit by severe storms with hail and flooding, with some vineyards reporting damage on up to 90 per cent of their vines. The problem in Burgundy is compounded due to a poor harvest in 2012, caused again by severe weather.

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