As harvest time begins in France, wineries are worried about their output as extreme and unpredictable weather becomes the new ''normal.'' Nathan Frandino reports.
The annual harvest is underway, but wine-makers in France's famous Chablis region are worried. For the second year in a row, production has dropped...and vintners like Laurent Pinson of Domaine Pinson vineyard say climate change is to blame. (SOUNDBITE) (French) OWNER OF PINSON DOMAIN, LAURENT PINSON, SAYING: "The changes in climate, especially the very frosty nights we had this year, have affected the harvest in a way that has been difficult to measure until now." In April, frost damaged vines across France. Growers resorted to using candles and heaters to try and save their crops... France's farm ministry estimates a 17 percent year-on-year drop in production; 977 million gallons compared to 1.2 billion gallons last year... when growers saw a 10 percent drop. (SOUNDBITE) (French) OWNER OF PINSON DOMAIN, LAURENT PINSON, SAYING: "You could have fields where you have very high percentages of loss, practically an 80-85 percent loss." And with increasing fluctuations in temperatures, winery owners say they must pay closer attention. Even a 10-degree change in a day or two can add extra stress on the vines. Louis Moreau of Louis Moreau Vineyard says these extreme changes are becoming the new "normal." (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOUIS MOREAU VINEYARD OWNER, LOUIS MOREAU, SAYING: "We don't have seasons like we had in the past, where spring would come quietly, and then you have the summer. It's extreme straight away. Extreme can mean high, very hot, or low, very cold, very dry." And over the long term, that could lead to even lower yields... and more expensive wine.