Wine grower Patrick Clavelin repairs a large anti-frost candle in a vineyard of the Jura region, central France. April 2022
Copyright  Laurent Cirpriani/AP Photo

French winemakers light candles, desperate to save their grapes from spring frost

By Natalia Liubchenkova

French winemakers and fruit farmers are lighting candles and spraying water over vineyards and orchards to protect their grapevines and fruit crops from the sub-zero temperatures in various French regions.

A large number of early buds which appeared in March as the temperature rose above 20 degrees are now in danger: at night the thermometer mark reached minus 7 degrees Celcius in different areas in France.

Thibault Camus/AP Photo
Winegrowers warm themselves around a fire as anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard to protect blooming buds and flowers from the frost, in Burgundy region, France. April 2022Thibault Camus/AP Photo
Jeff Pachoud/AFP
Winegrowers light candles in the vineyards to protect them from frost around Puligny-Montrachet, France. April 2022Jeff Pachoud/AFP
Guillaume Souvant/AFP
Winemakers gather near a fire in the vineyards where they light candles to protect the plants from frost in the Vouvray vineyard in central France. April 2022Guillaume Souvant/AFP

The price of one candle is 10 euros and 600 candles are needed per hectare. As the efforts appear to be quite costly, some farmers have to choose the most precious grapes to save and leave the rest to face the forces of nature.

Thibault Camus/AP Photo
A winegrower checks anti-frost candles that protect blooming buds and flowers from the frost, in a vineyard in Chablis, Burgundy region, France. April 2022Thibault Camus/AP Photo
Guillaume Souvant/AFP
An aerial view taken near Vernou-sur-Brenne, central France, shows smoke rising from the fires set in the Vouvray vineyards to protect them from the frost. April 2022Guillaume Souvant/AFP
Philippe Lopez/AFP
An employee checks candles lined up in vineyards to fight frost as the temperature dropped below zero degrees Celsius in Saint-Emilion, southern France. April 2022Philippe Lopez/AFP
Thibault Camus/AP Photo
Water is sprayed in a vineyard to protect blooming buds and flowers from the frost, in Chablis, Burgundy region. April 2022Thibault Camus/AP Photo
Jean-Francois Badias/AP Photo
A farmer lights a giant candle between fruit trees to protect from the frost in Tranenheim eastern France. April 2022Jean-Francois Badias/AP Photo

The spring frost hit French vineyards last year, leading to some 2 billion euros in losses.