France's winemakers are facing one of the smallest harvests in its history, according to recently released forecasts. The volume is expected to be 24 to 30 percent smaller than in 2020, with estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture predicting wine production between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectoliters, which was last the case in 1977.
Authorities expect 14 to 15.5 million hectoliters of AOP wines (down 26 percent from 2020), 8.9 to 9.7 million hectoliters of IGP wines (down 34 percent from 2020), and 7.7 to 8.4 million hectoliters of spirits (down 28 percent from 2020).
The striking decline is mainly due to the frosty nights in April, when total losses were feared locally. In addition, the impact due to fungal diseases as a result of prolonged rainfall in June and July is making itself felt. This mainly affects the northern growing regions of Champagne, Alsace and Loire, but also Burgundy, Beaujolais and the southwest.
Frost in conjunction with the rains also led to bloom problems such as trickling, even in some southern growing areas along the Rhône and in Provence. Along the Mediterranean arc, meanwhile, drought is reducing the expected results. Outside the areas mentioned, a satisfactory harvest is expected, with Corsica reporting almost the same volumes as in 2020.
The grape harvest began on 5 August in the Aude department in southern Languedoc, slightly later than in previous years. SW