French wine bounces back after horror 2017

Ministry forecasts 25% year-on-year increase in production

Wine production in France should be 25% higher than in 2017, when late Spring frosts wrecked the grape crop, the Agriculture Ministry has said.

Producers in France expect to create some 46.1million hectolitres of wine in 2018, the Ministry announced - a rise of a quarter on 2017. Winemakers themselves, meanwhile, predicted an output of 44.5million hectolitres this year.

The summer heatwave does not appear to have damaged crops - and, in some cases, it may have saved it from mildew that threatened vines in early summer.

Production is expected to be below the five-year average in Languedoc-Roussillon, Corsica and the south-east, due to mildew, while Merlot grapes in Bordeaux were also affected - but in the latter's case it is not expected to hit recovery.

Meanwhile, the heatwave actually stopped the spread of mildew in Burgundy, Beaujolais, Alsace and Champagne - leading to what are expected to be bumper harvests.

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