Brutal hailstorms have impacted the Champagne region in France, damaging around 1,800 hectares of the legendary grape-growing region and effectively obliterating eight million bottles of bubbly before they could even make it to your next cocktail bash.

The region’s Champagne Committee says the recent storms have destroyed around 1,000 hectares of the precious vines, accounting for about 3% of the storied champagne-growing region.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the Committee’s communications director Thibaut Le Mailloux said “three per cent of the potential future harvest vanished before our eyes. And it happened at a very bad time, as the vines are only starting to flower this week.”

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The Committee noted that the recent storms, which most heavily damaged vines in Vitry-en-Perthois, the Marne Valley, and Côte des Bar, were unusual for their obscene violence.

Fortunately for everyone who enjoys the exceedingly fancy drop, there’s a reserve system in place which allows champagne growers to mix their plonk with earlier supplies.

But Le Mailloux said some growers in the region may not have enough reserves on deck to cover the product lost to the storms.

Hail also impacted swathes of the Bordeaux and Cognac regions last weekend, with some growers losing 100% of their crop.

All of this comes one year after some exceptional frosts, drought, and storms impacted large portions of France’s growing regions, ultimately leading to incredibly low production figures and a 6% bump in the price of French drops.

So raise a toast to your toast, folks: the growers of your favourite tipples might just be having a bad, bad week.

Source: Drinks Bulletin
Image: Davie Kotinsky / Getty Image