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FRANCE: Languedoc vineyards take EUR80m hit from hailstorm

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The cost of hailstorm damage to vineyards in the Languedoc region of southern France, in terms of lost production, could total EUR80m (US$108.9m), according to trade body sources.

Between 1m and 1.5m hectolitres of wine - 10% of the crop's volume - is reported to have been destroyed by the storm, which broke over the weekend. The storm follows a similar bout of hail in Burgundy earlier this month.

Two areas of the Aude département were particularly affected - those producing AOC Malepère and AOC Minervois.

Fearing supply difficulties, wine growers in the Aude are seeking Ministry of Agriculture approval to buy-in grapes from other parts of the region, farmng union, the FNSEA said earlier this week.

In the areas at the heart of what was a brief but violent storm, some wine growers will have no crop at all to pick this year and could lose half of next year's harvest too, the regional Chamber of Agriculture warned.


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