Thursday, September 12, 2002

épisode Cévenol [NYT]
A huge storm has flooded Provence, killing a lot of people and decimating the harvest, including AOC Côtes-du-Rhone, Coteaux-du-Languedoc, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Orange. The AOC vines are mostly on hillsides, thus more protected from the elements, but something like 40% of the vins du table are lost. 60% of the cellars are flooded.
[Numbers from Le Monde, article 1, and article 2; also see their map, and another article blaming provençal sprawl (le mode d'urbanisation) for the deaths.]
The Wine Spectator also mourns. The timing of this event does not diminish its disastrousness.
The town of Alès was cut off from the rest of the world for 2 days or so, apparently because of bureaucratic incompetence -- it is noteworthy as the destination of the train my mom was put on after trying to tell the people at the Gare de Lyon that she wanted to go to Arles... The aforementioned épisode Cévenol is what happens when warm Mediterrannean air crashes into the Cévennes.

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