Frost on the Vine: Understanding 'Les Saints de Glace’.

May 07, 2024 - 1 comments

Frost on the Vine: Understanding 'Les Saints de Glace’. In northern Europe, "Les Saints de Glace" (the Ice Saints) is a significant and often frightening period marked by the feast days of the three saints, St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius, from May 11th to 13th. These days are traditionally associated with a high risk of frost, posing a severe threat to delicate grapevines.

For winegrowers, frost during this period can be detrimental. Young grape buds and tender shoots are vulnerable to freezing as temperatures drop, leading to frost damage. The cold temperatures can kill these vital parts of the vine, resulting in reduced yields or even complete crop loss for the season.

The transition from winter to summer is underway during this time, but colder air masses from the north can still exert influence, especially if atmospheric patterns shift. Additionally, clear nights without cloud cover can contribute to rapid cooling of the Earth's surface, allowing temperatures to drop significantly.

Once the "Saints de Glace" are over, frost is unlikely to occur again on such a scale. But there's still hail, summer rains and thunderstorms, and sudden changes in temperature, whose unpredictability reminds us of the climatic hazards faced by farmers.

This year, Raisin will do its best to connect winemakers who have lost their grapes to frost with winegrowers who have grapes to sell. More news on that is coming soon!

Special thanks to @2naturkinder (on instagram) for the photo of their vineyard. 

PS: if you have suffered a loss of grapes, let us know by sending a message at [email protected]

 

 

 

 


1 Comments
dé 15 May. 2024

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