April and May are the critical months when night frosts can kill the tender vine buds and devastate the whole crop in minutes. One of the regular frost protection methods used throughout Champagne is lighting bougies to repel the cold air. This means getting up in the middle of the night and lighting hundreds of candles as the temperature drops below zero.
In 2016 we decide to try another method: installing heated wires that run along the fruiting wire and wrap the cane in a halo of warmth. It took a lot of hard work to install but it means we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night!