Winegrowers and mayors in the parishes of Abaças and Guiães, in the municipality of Vila Real, described this Monday a “catastrophe scenario” in its Douro vineyards due to the intense hailstorm.
Here we have areas where the harvest is done”, said the president of the Parish Council of Abaças, Filipe Brigas, cited by Lusa.
In Vila Real, in the late afternoon and for several minutes, hail fell with great intensity and described as being the size of “nuts” or ping-pong balls, accompanied by heavy rain.
In the middle of the Douro demarcated region, Filipe Brigas spoke of a “catastrophe” that hit the villages in that area of the municipality of Vila Real where vines and wine are the main economic activity.
In his particular case, the mayor had to apply a first calcium treatment to try to save the vines.
To exemplify the dimension of the hail, Filipe Brigas said that the stones broke it. “a car window” e “they dented two more”.
More than two hours later there was still, he said, “careers and careers full of hail in the vineyards”.
I’ve never seen hail so big in my life”, he stressed.
In the neighboring parish of Guiães, the president of the board, Paulo Correia, also said that “I had never seen such a thing” and he mentioned that the hail and rain, in addition to the consequences at the level of the vineyards, also dragged stones and earth onto the roads and caused flooding in some houses.
About 80 to 90% of the vineyards here in the parish are destroyed”, added that the winegrowers went to the field at the end of the afternoon to assess the damage and some started the treatments immediately.
The mayor foresees consequences at the level of the harvest and even said that in “a large part of the vineyards” the harvest was carried out today.
“People will undergo treatments to preserve the vine”, stressed.
Winegrower in Guiões and president of the Douro e Corgo Farmers Association, Fernando Borges, said that the vines were “only with the sticks” and lost “the leaves and bunches of grapes that were already formed”.
I’m almost 50 years old and I’ve never seen anything like it. The thunderstorm destroyed everything. It was very serious”, he stated.
In addition to the damage to the vineyards, this farmer also pointed out the consequences on the gardens and on the production of potatoes or onions.
Fernando Borges plans to go on Tuesday, “without fail”, for the field to apply the first treatments to try to “recover what little is left” and heal the vines. It has a total of 20 hectares of vines where, so far, it had already applied six treatments to the vines, in an investment of around 7,000 euros.
“And maybe I won’t have grapes to make that money”, stressed.
After the hailstorm, many people shared photos on social networks, as well as on the Facebook page “Meteo Trás-os-Montes”.
Another video posted on the same page: