DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail : contact@bernard-defaix.com page in English page en Français
DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail :contact@bernard-defaix.com

Protection against frost

Protection against frost

The first protective methods were introduced in the 60's,which enabled the Chablisian vineyards to develop. Indeed, before this time, it was not uncommon for an entire harvest to be destroyed every 2 to 3 years. Consequently, it was difficult to establish a trading policy. Spring frosts set in with a vengeance in the April and May period, by which time vegetation appears and temperatures can be below zero.

2 systems to protect the vineyard have been used for a long time:

  • with heat : we light “paraffin burners” or “spray-fuel heaters”. The number and type of apparatus used depends on their effectiveness; for example more burners are needed per hectare than heaters. These installations give off heat at the foot of the vines, protecting them from the frost.
  • with water : when frosts occur, water is sprayed over the vine. Ice-shields form around the young leaves and buds, thus protecting them from the cold.

Each system has both advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance and cost efficiency (installation, manpower, maintenance, etc.)
These systems were not used every year, as this very much depends on the weather and the vegetation's growth rate (the more the vine grows, the more fragile it becomes).

Today, the spring frosts are less and less frequent maybe on connection with the global warming. At the domain, we have stopped for several years to use the protection with heat too heavy on fossil fuels. The systems with sprayed water are still in service but less and less started up.

DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX
17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis
Tél. 03 86 42 40 75 - Fax : 03 86 42 40 28