Principles of Freezing Your Orchard Using Burning Candles and Watering

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We present to you two common solutions vintners use to deal with frost on their vines.

Burning antifreeze candles

Lighting antifreeze candles around the vines is a fairly simple method. They emit heat that warms the atmosphere for about 12 hours. 400 antifreeze candles are required per hectare. This is the most common technique.

Principle: Air heating, the effective temperature drops to -4°C. 400 candles are required to protect 1 hectare for 8 hours.

Advantages: Suitable for small plots of land.

Disadvantage: Requires a lot of manual labor to deploy antifreeze candles. If frosting occurs frequently, the cost is higher. There are also antifreeze candles storage issues.

Cost: 2500 EUR/ha + labor cost.

Sprinkle water

Sprinkle water on the vines. The aim is to establish a water-ice balance around the plant organs, forming an ice shell around the shoots and protecting the shoots from extremely negative temperatures (down to -7 degrees), which is the most effective means of struggle. However, this requires installation of equipment and a lot of water. There isn't always a river near the vineyard, which explains why it's not very popular.

How it works: Converting water to ice produces energy and thus heat.

Advantages: non-polluting and automatable, effective against all types of frost, temperatures as low as -7°C.

Disadvantages: need a river or a lot of water resources nearby (in France, you need a water pumping license, romantic French people have a similar requirement to strict Germans in the requirements for obtaining a license), and soil that can be absorbed.

Cost: The upfront cost is between EUR 8,000 and EUR 140,000/ha.



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