French wine production may fall due to poor harvest
An icy spring has led to decreased grape harvests
“The wine harvest for 2017 could yield around 37 to 38 million hectolitres, 17 percent less than 2016 and 16 percent less than the average in the past five years,” according to Agreste, the statistics arm of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Spring frost has had a noticeable impact in the south-west, mainly Bordeaux, as well as Charentes, Jura and Alsace, while water resources are deficient in certain basins such as Alsace, the south-east and Corsica.
As a result, the August to October harvest “could be historically low and inferior to that of 1991, which was also hit by severe frost”, says Agreste.
In the Bordeaux region, production could be impacted by frost at the end of April, meaning production could be half that of 2016. In the rest of the south-west, harvests could be 18 percent lower, with mildew a contributing factor.
Champagne output was badly hit in 2016, with the harvest down more than 20 percent from the previous year as spring frosts were followed by other problems, such as mildew.
The estimates were provisional and did not take into account the weather until harvest, which usually takes place from August to October in France.
France is the world's second largest wine producer.
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