New year, same problem for French wine producers

The country is forecast to produce less than the previous year’s harvest amid dry spell, with numbers of grapes spoiled by frost New year, same problem for French wine producers Will French wine fans…

New year, same problem for French wine producers

The country is forecast to produce less than the previous year’s harvest amid dry spell, with numbers of grapes spoiled by frost

New year, same problem for French wine producers

Will French wine fans look elsewhere for their favourite nectar this summer? The country has experienced an unseasonably dry spell, with temperatures hovering around 6C.

In the north, a few places are forecast to have more rain, but for most areas the drought and cold winter has blown away whatever was there.

Wine experts are now waiting for a post-harvest analysis of last year’s grape harvest. A rise in overall wine consumption in Europe means that the loss of 7% could affect the global wine supply for years to come.

According to the French wine industry association UNICA, wine quality in 2018 remains unchanged from the previous year. But just like last year, the vintners have been affected by prolonged frost and hail. The crop and quality of grapes could decline by as much as a quarter, wine producers say.

In January this year, French wine was replaced as the world’s third-largest by New Zealand wines. New Zealand producers exported more than €1bn (£847m) worth of wine to France last year, more than double that of Italy.

Wine experts are calling for a boom in vines in the northern countryside, where vines have been hit by some of the worst frosts in 40 years.

France was once the global powerhouse of wine production, but production has been falling in recent years due to climate change and a jump in imports.

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