French Wine Production to Plunge as Much as 30% This Year
(Bloomberg) -- France’s wine production is expected to tumble to historic lows this year, after a spring frost blasted through the country and wet weather this summer caused disease in some grapes.
Production for 2021 is estimated to be between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectoliters, according to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as of Aug. 1. That’s about 24% to 30% lower than last year, it said in a statement.
Almost all wine regions in France, among the world’s largest producers, were affected by frost in early April. In Champagne, cold weather destroyed 30% of buds. Elsewhere, including Provence and the Rhone Valley, flowering occurred in cool or humid conditions that contributed to the drop.
Diseases caused by wet weather since the beginning of summer have also affected a variety of grapes. In Alsace, heavy rainfall has caused mildew, damaging Pinots in particular. In Beaujolais, home to later-grape varieties, mildew and black rot have been a factor.
For production spared by this succession of events -- at least for regions outside the periphery of the Mediterranean -- the grapes are of good size, the Ministry said.
Total French wine production this year is likely to be close to the level in 1977, when destructive frost and summer precipitation also occurred. Other climactic events could affect this year’s harvest, and the preliminary figures are likely to be revised, according to the Ministry.
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