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The Charente Scene – Summer 2016

The Charente SceneWe have come to expect the Charente to have relatively calm and normal weather at this time of the year but heavy rain and hail storms have hit the region, as they did 2 years ago. The storms, which caused much damage and flooding in Paris, went through Grande Champagne in a north easterly direction. The vines in Gimeux were wiped out by hailstones the size of one’s fist and it has been estimated by the BNIC that between 12 – 15% of the total region was damaged. Although the storms have had a significant effect, they are not expected to have created a crisis since the top cru, Grande Champagne, has been producing greater quantities of wine in recent years. It now has about 75,000 hectares of vines planted which provide around 750,000 hectolitres of pure alcohol. To put it another way, sufficient to make around 25 million bottles of cognac, some of which may not mature until 2100!