One of the winemakers' worst nightmares seems to have happened last week, not only in Croatian vineyards but through the most of the Central Europe, and even in parts of France. Although it happens almost regularly , it’s still devastating for all those involved in the winemaking industry.
One of the locations most severely hit were the vineyards near Novi Vinodolski, on the Northern section of the Adriatic coast, where Pavlomir winery has their vineyards around 2 kilometres from the shore, but the influence of the sea was not enough to prevent the serious frost damage. The temperature during one night last week dropped to -2.4°C, and they estimate that they have lost almost 60 to 70 percent of their yield for the year. The worst damage happened to the vines in the centre of the Novljansko field, while those closer to the forest were somehow shielded and are now in better shape.
The other location where one would not expect to have such problems in late April is the region around Konavle, at the southern-most tip of the Croatian coast. They have had even lower temperatures, as low as -5°C, and while it’s hard to estimate how large the damage is, the situation was serious enough for some of the vineyard owners to try and salvage the situation by starting controlled fires around their vines – but there’s no clear indication that it had helped.(Photo taken by Matija Čulig on Psunj these days)
The winemakers from Slavonia, especially Kutjevo region known for their Graševina have also had it rough again this year, after the conditions were ideal during most of April and the vines have started developing wonderfully, the extremely low temperatures on Friday and Saturday last week damaged a lot of their vineyards. And the cold temperatures there were not the only problem (as if it would not have been enough!), but also quite a significant amount of snowfall also happened during that night, almost 30 %, Vlado Krauthaker from the Graševina Croatica Association says.
Many other Croatian winemaking regions were also damaged, such as Zagorje and Međimurje, Imotski and Vrgorac region etc, and many winemakers and fruit growers are now asking for the help from their counties and the state, asking for the “natural disaster” to be declared, in which case they would get the financial compensation for their losses from the state, as they did last year, when the similar situation occurred at almost the exactly same time. Maybe it's time the winemakers in Croatia researched the insurance industry in Europe...