The season of 2016 was a disaster in many parts of Europe. Hail. Flood. Drought. Frost. Mildou. Five of the ten plagues. As a result some people in the great tradition of no atheists in a fox hole, stopped their bio or biodynamic practice. It didn't help. No chemical treatment could prevent the disaster. Others kept the faith with the same outcome.
But here's the thing. Many people we drink in every vintage had almost nothing to pick. This is the year that people in Burgundy do what the Californian's do---buy grapes. This is the year you get to see what a syrah looks like when made in the middle of Chablis or a cinsaut made in Vosne. It will indeed be an assortment of strange wines emerging from the hands of familiar people. However, as fun as that might be for one year, it is really a terrible financial hardship for many, and some vignerons. And so what can you do to help? Drink and buy wine. Here's the press release.
Racines NY and Chambers Street Wines are participating in Vendanges Solidaires (www.vendangessolidaires.com/en/home/), an initiative started by the French wine community to aid vignerons affected by extreme weather as frost, hail and drought, formerly rare occurrences, now more common and more intense due to climate change. This year in parts of Beaujolais, Bourgogne, Loire and Languedoc – including Chablis, Morgon, Fleurie, Pic-Saint-Loup and Menetou-Salon – some winemakers lost 70 to 100% of their harvest - a whole year of work ruined by one night of frost or 15 minutes of hail. In show of a solidarity and support, Racines NY and Chambers Street Wine are joining a number of restaurants and wine shops in France to help raise money to aid the most vulnerable and affected winemakers (most have only been making wine for less than 10 years).
Financial aid collected via Vendanges Solidaires, which was formed by a group of French retailers and restaurateurs, will go to those most in need – winemakers who have been established for less than ten years and who suffered 75% losses or more. Racines NY (94 Chambers St., 212-227-3400,www.racinesny.com) will donate $2 from every bottle of French wine sold from October 24th through November 5th. And Chambers Street Wines (148 Chambers St., 212-227-1434) willdonate $1 from every bottle of French wine sold at the store October 29 - 30. In addition, those wishing to donate directly may do so by searching for "Vendanges Solidaires" atwww.chambersstwines.com, donations are accepted now until Nov 6.