Not a single bottle of Cheval Blanc was produced in 1956 and a killing frost left traces on the vines for many years. Over 10 hectares needed to be entirely replanted.

1956 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

1956 was a catastrophic year for Cheval Blanc. A terrible frost more or less wiped out the vineyard. The extremely cold temperatures (an average of -3 °C, i.e. 9.9 °C lower than average!) simply annihilated many vines. More than 10 hectares needed to be replanted. The Merlot vines were hit especially hard.

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

The thermometer went as low as -20°C in Saint Emilion, and 1956 is considered an annus horibilis!  No one could remember such Arctic cold. The effect on Cheval Blanc was long-lasting: low yields for several years and with so many young Merlot vines after replanting, the blend reflected a high proportion of Cabernet Franc for several vintages.