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Winegrowers’ free help saves flooded French vineyard

A vineyard destroyed by floods has been brought back to life thanks to around 100 fellow winegrowers and the public who gave money and help for free.

Although the harvest is smaller this year, vineyard owner Jean Sentenac had not expected to produce any wine at all.

The Domaine de la Roque in Trèbes, Aude has been in his family for five generations.

Last year, 42 hectares out of 52 were submerged by up to 60cm of water as the river Aude flooded in heavy rain.

Vines were torn up by their roots and tractors and farm vehicles carried away and damaged.

Almost everything was destroyed by the floods, apart from the wine press.

Philippe Vergnes, president of the association, said: “Organ-isations and citizens donated money.

“Solidarity between farmers is part of our spirit.

“We can lose everything but we always keep this.

“It’s what we do. When there were floods in the Var in 2010, we all went there to help.”

Mr Sentenac had to raise the vines, clear away the waste, buy new material and renew all the irrigation system.

Forty experts came and €750,000 was donated for the reconstruction of the vineyard.

Mr Sentenac said the flowers and grapes which have grown back are healthy and show no signs of damage

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