Troops were mobilised in the Medoc region around Bordeaux, France, on Tuesday (30 september) to help harvest the grapes from vineyards battered by a violent hailstorm.
SV Damaged vines and grapes on ground (2 shots)
GV Army lorry arriving at vineyard
GV Troops out of truck
CU Damaged vine
GV soldiers harvesting grapes left on vine (4 shots)
SV Soldier tipping grapes into back pannier carried by another soldier who walks off
LV storm clouds over vineyard
TRANSCRIPT: "We were all set for one of the great wines of the century -- we had a magnificent summer and the grapes were perfect", she said.
"But we will lose more than half the crops if we don't get an extra eighty men to finish the harvest tomorrow."
Initials BB/1800 NPJ/AH/BB/1750
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Background: Troops were mobilised in the Medoc region around Bordeaux, France, on Tuesday (30 september) to help harvest the grapes from vineyards battered by a violent hailstorm. The growers appealed for troops to help them after the hailstorm had swept across part of the region on Monday.
Some of the great houses of the region, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Haut Brion and Latour, were not hit by the storm which was very localised. Eye-witnesses said that it left about eight inches of hail on the ground within fifteen minutes.
Regional authorities said that about 2,200 acres of vines were struck in the communes of Moulis, Avensan, Arcins and Lamarque. Most of the vineyards suffered between fifty to sixty per cent damage to their crop, but a few chateaux lost all their vines.
The hailstones burst the grapes, and the owners said that if they were not collected into the pressing rooms within thirty-six hours, they would start to not and be no good for wine-making.
The wife of one chateau owner, Mrs. Michele Bezian, said that some of their workers who had been there for 30 years, said that they had never seen such a violent storm.