21 June 2013

Tornades, inondations et maladies

There was a tornado — or was it a straight-line wind event? — in northern Burgundy a day or two ago. Whatever it was, it damaged a hundred or so houses near the town of Châtillon-sur-Seine (halfway between Dijon and Troyes), tearing off roof tiles and letting in rainwater that soaked everything. Storms like that are rare in France — but they may be becoming more frequent.

In the southwest, meanwhile, serious flooding has destroyed houses and cut many villages off from the rest of the world. The town of Lourdes has been under water for several days.

And you know about the devastating hailstorm that hit the Vouvray area three days ago.

These are the vines in our back yard from which I gathered leaves for the dolmas we made this week.

It's getting hard to keep up with current events. Here in Saint-Aignan, we had a decent day yesterday, weatherwise, and we actually sat out on the terrace with friends for a couple of hours in the evening.

This morning is gloomy and dark, but I'm not sure we're supposed to get any rain. We certainly don't need any. And just think: today is the first day of summer. You need to look at a calendar to know about it.

Yesterday, I talked to two guys who work in the vineyard out back. Earlier this week, we saw them hauling away all the posts they had pulled up in the vineyard plot I mentioned a while back. I asked them what was going on.

These are the vines that are going to be ripped out because of a maladie.

Are those vines being pulled up? Yes, they said. Is there a maladie? Yes. Will new vines be planted there? Yes. What varietal are the sick vines? Sauvignon Blanc, and the vines are only 24 years old.

I'm glad they plan to put in new vines.


  1. I bet the vines had esca.

  2. I assume you're right, Susan. I'll ask when I see the guys again.

  3. Thank goodness you guys are not having that horrid weather that seems to be skirting around your village.
    Enjoy what little sunshine you do have.

  4. I didn't know about the flooding in the southwest. That was shocking to see the Lourdes photos. That news just doesn't reach us here in the Northwest.

    Well, at least we now know about those posts in the vineyard. Too bad.
    The good news, as you reported, is that the plans are to replant.

  5. Bonjour, Ken. Maybe it's just my imagination, but here on this first day of summer, I'm starting to see a recurrent theme to your weather in France.
    Take a ride with me in the Wayback Machine back to Callie's birthday in August of 2007. (Standing water in the vineyards, wine growers spraying water logged roots attacked by fungus, etc.)
    Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

  6. Bonjour Dean,

    L'été 2007 était une vraie catastrophe ici. Merci de me le rappeler ! Les étés pourris deviennent effectivement la règle en France. Je regarde par la fenêtre et je constate -- devine quoi -- qu'il pleut. Rien de neuf sous le solei... les nuages.

  7. It looks strange without the poles.


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