Candle power saves vines

Wine producers will go to great lengths to protect their precious grapes, as farmers in Switzerland have shown.

Unseasonably low temperatures are threatening to destroy grape shoots in vineyards in the Flaesch region of Switzerland. As the young plants need warmer temperatures if they are to survive the winter, farmers burned candles around vineyards yesterday to beat the frost.

Even though the small candles change the temperature by only the odd degree, this is sufficient to create a movement of air and prevent frost from taking hold around the vines.

Spring has been delayed in several parts of Europe, with severe cold snaps and unusually harsh wintry weather being experienced.

Burgundy in France and renowned wine regions in Italy and other countries have also been hit by a cold front, and farmers fear huge losses if temperatures do not start to rise soon.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline Candle power saves vines. Subscribe