Brush Fire Devastates Vineyards in the Var
On Monday, August 16th, a fire broke out near a motorway service station close to Gonfaron. Although the exact cause is to be confirmed, human carelessness caused the blaze. The ignition found the fuel needed with dry scrubland in the Var resulting from hot summer temperatures and near-drought conditions. The burn exploded, pushed along by strong winds. Once the fire was tamed, two people had lost their lives, there were 1000s of evacuations, 8000+ hectares burnt, homes were in cinders, and some 73 vineyards and five (5) wine cooperatives were affected.
Assessing the Damage
Just weeks before harvest, it’s too early to know the full impact on the 2021 grape yield. A handful of Côtes de Provence properties, were left in ruins including Domaine de la Tourre, Domaine de la Giscle and Le Domaine de Théolier.
Ever gracious and positive, Stephen and Jeany Cronk consider themselves fortunate at Domaine Mirabeau. Even though most if not all the harvest is gone, the main buildings survived. “There are three vineyards close to us which have been completely destroyed, it’s truly devastating,” Mr Cronk said. At the Domaine, there is damage to the vines, outbuildings and surrounding forest.” Additional details in this BBC article.
“The full extent of the impact of the fires on the Domaine Mirabeau and region are still being assessed, but the Domaine was ravaged from 360 degrees and the remains of the smouldering outbuildings and trees tell their tale of how violent and close it was.” ~Domaine Mirabeau newsletter.
According to the Wine Spectator, “The global impact on the Côtes de Provence appellation, renowned for its rosé wines, should be limited. The region contains 49,400 acres of vines. Brice Aymard, CIVP director, told Wine Spectator that perhaps 5 percent of the appellation had been impacted. But for those in the fire zone, it was terrible. The damage to the fruit on the eve of the harvest is particularly wrenching.” Read the full article here.
Making a Difference
Donate here. The Agricultural Crisis Unit, steered by the Var Chamber of Agriculture, will determine the distribution to the benefit of Var farmers.
Le Domaine de Théolier is accepting donations.
Inform your wine purchases by learning about (and buying) organic wines and regenerative farming practices.
Place an order for Domaine Mirabeau La Réserve Rosé a limited-edition gastronomic wine from the estate. Despite their losses, Maison Mirabeau plans to continue work on the regenerative viticulture project that began two years ago. In addition, the Cronks are committed to building a community of research and an educational database on regenerative farming practices via the Regenerative Viticulture Foundation (read more). Your purchase helps – 50% of the profits from La Réserve sales support this foundation.