19 June 2013

Rain, rain, go away... and don't come back until November

The weather report says we should expect more severe thunderstorms today in this part of France. So far our luck is holding. Yesterday was a fairly nice day, with some sprinkles of rain in the morning and again in the afternoon, but nothing to write home — or a blog post — about. Today's forecast is for more than an inch (30 mm) of precipitation.

Sunday morning was nice. I walked through some woods on the edge of the vineyard with Callie.

The work of assessing the damage in the Vouvrillon — the area around the village of Vouvray where all the Chenin Blanc grapes are grown to produce Vouvray wines — is just getting under way. A lot of the growers in that area (and surely in others) are not insured for this kind of damage. The insurance is expensive, and many growers just take their chances, apparently. The last time there was such a devastating hailstorm in the area was in 1976.

Grapes in the Renaudière vineyard — as yet untouched by hailstones

Meanwhile, we'll keep our tarps and other sheets of plastic at the ready, just in case we have downpours intense enough today to cause our roof to leak again. We've accepted the roofer's bid for the repair work and sent in our 30% deposit on the job. Now we have to wait for the roofer to schedule the work. Of course, he can't do anything as long as it keeps raining. I hope he doesn't plan to go on vacation in July and August, as many people do.

These woods are one of the places where Callie loves to walk, because there are often deer grazing there that she can chase.

Yesterday I took the car in for a recharge of the air-conditioning system. It had stopped blowing cold. We don't have AC in the house, but in the car it's very nice not to have to ride around with the windows rolled down to get a breath of air. The AC compressor also defogs the windshield. Now if only we could get a little hot, dry weather, so that spending 80 € on AC wouldn't seem so frivolous.


  1. The mini drought/heat wave we’ve had yesterday seems to be over. It’s not raining yet, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  2. Does Callie ever catch the deer? What does she do if she does?

  3. Just driving through Tours yesterday evidence of the hail was everywhere. Boulevard Heurteloup was covered in twigs and leaves that have been cut from the plane trees by the hailstones. Our friend Alexandre from Chateau Gaudrelle has been badly affected (50-60% loss) but he says he is not as bad as some others, who may lose their vines altogether and are not insured. He is very touched by how many people have come forward to express their sympathy and support. This is certainly the worst natural event affecting the vines that I have seen here, and hail does not fit the criteria for the government to declare a natural disaster so the insurance claims are paid quickly and with no questions.

  4. Just risked plugging the system back in... stair rods coming down here... hope your gutter stands up to what falls!!

    Interesting bit on BBC News about the run of wet summers in the UK...
    it might be relevant to us too!

    BBC Science & Environment News
    Scientists say UK wet summers down to Atlantic warming

  5. Tim, we've had only very light rains so far today. No downpours. Yet.

  6. Wow. What a life it is, to be a farmer of any kind, and have to be at the mercy of Mother Nature.

  7. We didn't get nearly the amount of rain predicted. No leakage. Now the sun is shining. But Paris is getting the storms now.

  8. What a heartbreaking experience for the wine growers just when they should be seeing the grape flowers turning to tiny grapes. A terrible loss of one of our favourite appellations. At least Noizay was spared.
    And have you seen the flooding in Lourdes? Wow.


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