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Small harvest for Burgundy 2013

Weather and hail mean this year’s production will be smaller than 2012, but surviving grapes of good quality

BURGUNDY’S 2013 harvest has produced some beautifully balanced wines but they will be in short supply after a second consecutive small harvest, local professionals have announced.

The Burgundy trade board (BIVB) said production levels could even be lower than 2012, already one of the smallest-yielding years of recent times, after a cold and wet spring was followed by destructive hail showers in July, exacerbating mildew and other problems in the vineyard.

"The vagaries of the weather had an impact on the quantities harvested," the BIVB said in a statement.

"From north to south of the region there was barely a vineyard that was spared."

Prestigious appellations including Pommard and Volnay were among the zones affected when July hail wreaked havoc across 1,350 hectares of the Côte de Beaune in eastern France.

"Some producers are predicting very small yields, with volume similar to or even inferior to 2012," the BIVB added. Total production of Burgundy is forecast at 1.26 million hectoliters, about 20% down on a typical year where output would be somewhere around 1.5 million hectolitres.

The short supply will inevitably exercise upward pressure on prices but the good news for lovers of Burgundy is that those vines which survived the hail went on to produce high-quality grapes on the back of late summer sunshine.

"The wines are showing great aromatic purity and some unexpected colours," the BIVB reported. "Their balance is particularly pleasing."

Text and photos ©AFP/Relaxnews/Jeff Pachoud

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