A large part of France has an air pollution problem at the moment; whilst the cold weather is greatly appreciated in the vines, the first real winter for 4 years, the stable high pressure over France means that the air pollution simply doesn’t dissipate.
There is a new ‘prefectural decree‘ which now prohibits vineyard workers, among others, from burning “green waste in the open air” – so no more smoking wheelbarrows in the vines – a source of much comfort for people working in the sub-zero temperatures.
Apparently, this decree is valid as long as the concentration of particles in the air remains above a certain level. The growers have never had such a mandate before! You are also not allowed to throw another log on your fire in the house too as this is not classed as an ‘indispensable source of heating!‘
For the same reason, there is a mandatory 20km per hour speed reduction on the French Autoroute – I drove 355km back to my home in Switzerland yesterday evening – the trucks and cars were ignoring this, but only by a margin of 99.9%…