Frost Creates Catastrophe on Korčula

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First estimates state 70 percent of the crop has been lost in Čara, even worse in Blato and especially Smokvica, where the frost has seemingly destroyed everything.

Unseen low spring temperatures have wreaked havoc on Korčula vineyards. First estimates state 70 percent of the crop has been lost in Čara, even worse in Blato and especially Smokvica, where frost has seemingly destroyed everything. “Out of our three hectares in Čara, two of them froze over,” said winemaker Jakša Krajančić in a telephone call on Thursday, he is the producer of one of the best Dalmatian white wines – Pošip Nerica. “We measured -3.7 Celsius in the vineyard at one point. Vineyards on Korčula have suffered catastrophic damage and we expect a natural disaster to be declared soon for the island, just like it was recently in Konavle.” More information will be available in the coming days, reported on April 28, 2017.

Vineyards on the Mindel position avoided frost, but winemakers still cannot relax. “That position is known to be struck by hail every year, so we are praying for this not to happen in July.” Krajančić increased his vineyards from two to three hectares last year. “Now 1.6 hectares have frozen over and that cannot be replaced,” he concluded. Only when they know how much has been lost can Korčula winemakers decide upon their market position, whether to leave reserves for next season, slow the sales of wines from previous harvests or possibly raise prices. “We want to avoid raising prices as that would not make up for our losses, since there won’t be enough wine from this harvest on sale. I plan for the long term and believe it is better not to bottle for one year than to change the position of the wine on the market. I believe caterers and consumers will appreciate that and the decision will be an investment into our better long term cooperation,” concluded Krajančić.

There is a possibility that some of the vines on Korčula will flower again, but whether those flowers will yield grapes cannot be known. What is certain is that winemakers on Korčula will have to work their vineyards until the end of the season just like there was no frost. “Work will be tougher, as all the necessary work needs to be done, with the same or additional expense, but without yield.” said Krajančić. Considering the extent of the damage on Korčula the general opinion is that it cannot be repaired with local assistance. The damage is too high and Korčula winemakers will probably have to find solutions through the funds and programmes of the European Union.


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