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France compensates Burgundy winemakers for hailstorm damage

Before the storm - a Burgundy vineyard
Before the storm - a Burgundy vineyard RFI/Agnieszka Kumor

The French government is rushing to the aid of Burgundy winemakers who saw most of their crop destroyed by hail earlier this week. Up to 2,000 hectares of vines were destroyed on the prestigious Côte de Beaune.

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Wine-growers on the Côte de Beaune will be let off payment of property taxes on affected vineyards and the state will pay health insurance contributions for their employees, the agriculture ministry announced Friday.

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More measures will be announced when the extent of the damage from Tuesday’s hailstorms has been established.

The ministry is working with the profession to draw a balance sheet of the storm damage, it said.

Preliminary estimates by national officials are that 1,700-2,000 hectares of vines have been affected, 35-40 per cent of the Côte de Beaune region. Some vineyards have been 100 per cent destroyed, they say.

The Burgundy regional authority came up with a lower estimate on Thursday, calculating that 1,350 hectares have been destroyed, about 5.0 per cent of the total Burgundy appellation.

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