France Is Expected to Produce Ten Percent Less Wine This Year

Unseasonable springtime weather means that French wine production is expected to be down by 10 percent compared to last year’s harvest.
August 30, 2016, 4:05pm
Photo via Flickr user Peter Hastings

It might be time to start stockpiling supplies of sauvignon blanc and hoarding your Burgundy because French wine producers been having a rough time. This year's harvest isn't looking good.

Figures released last week by the French Ministry of Agriculture show that hailstorms and an unseasonable springtime frost mean that the country's wine production is set to decrease by 10 percent when compared to last year's yield.

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Bet those "wine terrorists" wish they hadn't wasted all that vino now.

According to the Guardian, the report blames the poor harvest on "the spring freeze that hit certain wine-growing areas, recurring winds made worse by drought around the Mediterranean, and damage stemming from frost."

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It's predicted that Champagne will fall flat as one of the country's worst performing regions, with the volume of wine produced here dropping by a third. Meanwhile in the Loire Valley, known for its Sancerre and chenin blanc wines, unusually low spring temperatures have so far wiped out up to 30 percent of the grape harvest.

In total across all of France's vineyards, bad weather means that wine production is expected to come in at 42.9 million hectolitres in 2016, compared to 47.8 million hectolitres in 2015.

But France's misfortune could be the UK's gain.

Winemaking in Britain has seen a boom in the last few years, in particular English sparkling wine, which beat its Champagne counterparts in a blind tasting test earlier this year. The British wine industry also just popped corks over the largest ever shipment of English fizz to the US.

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Speaking to MUNCHIES, Miles Beale, chief executive of the UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said that English wine production is on course to double by 2020. He said: "Post-Brexit, there are opportunities which could see the English industry grow even more the predicted and without fear of production limits imposed by EU red tape."

But even with France's bad harvest, British winemakers still have a long way to go to catch up with the 6.32 billion bottles produced by the country last year.

That's a lot of sore heads.