Some vintners tried to warm the vines with electrical lines, or sprayed the buds with water to protect them from frost. The water creates a thin layer of ice that ensures the blossom’s temperature remains around freezing point but does not dip much lower. Chablis vintner Daniel Defaix, whose vineyard has been producing wine for 400 years and lived through a multitude of climate disasters, calls what’s happening now “a very, very serious frost.”

French vintners are lighting candles to thaw their grapevines to save them from a late frost following a winter warm spell, a temperature swing that is threatening fruit crops in multiple countries, AP reports.

Ice-coated vines stretched across hillsides around Chablis as the Burgundy region woke Monday to temperatures of minus 5 C (23 F). Fruit growers are worried that the frost will kill off large numbers of early buds, which appeared in March as temperatures rose above 20 C (68 F), and disrupt the whole growing season.

The frost is particularly frustrating after a similar phenomenon hit French vineyards last year, leading to some 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in losses. Scientists later found that the damaging 2021 frost was made more likely by climate change.

Before dawn Monday, row upon row of candles flickered beneath the frosty vines in Chablis. As the sun rose, it illuminated the ice crystals gripping the vines.

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