French wine production will plunge by 30% this year
(Bloomberg) – Wine production in France is expected to drop to historically low levels this year, after a spring frost ravaged the country and wet weather this summer caused disease in some grapes.
Production for 2021 is estimated between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectoliters, according to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as of August 1. That’s about 24% to 30% less than last year, he said in a statement.
Almost all the wine regions of France, among the largest producers in the world, were affected by the frost in early April. In Champagne, the cold destroyed 30% of the buds. Elsewhere, notably in Provence and the Rhone Valley, flowering took place in cool or humid conditions which contributed to the decline.
Diseases caused by the wet weather since the start of summer have also affected a variety of grape varieties. In Alsace, heavy rains caused mildew, damaging the Pinots in particular. In Beaujolais, cradle of later grape varieties, downy mildew and black rot played a role.
For a production spared by this succession of events – at least for the regions located outside the Mediterranean rim – the grapes are of good size, specified the ministry.
Total French wine production this year is expected to be close to the 1977 level, when destructive frosts and summer rainfall also occurred. Other weather events could affect this year’s harvest, and preliminary figures are subject to revision, according to the ministry.
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