European wine in loss due to weather
EUROPE'S WINE production has dropped to levels unseen since World War II after extreme weather battered top producers in Italy, France, Spain and Germany. Total wine production across the European Union is estimated to be 145 million hectolitres in 2017, down about 14 per cent from last year's levels. Vineyards have been badly affected by extreme weather events ranging from hail and frost to drought. Italy's production fell to 40 million hectolitres, down about 26 per cent, while France's output fell to around 37 million hectolitres, about 18 per cent below last year. Spain's output dropped to an estimated 36 million hectolitres, down 20 per cent from 2016, while Germany's is estimated at 7.5 million hectolitres, down from about 8.5 million hectolitres. The 2016 harvest was already one of the lowest in 30 years. The European Union's Copa-Cogeca farm union has said that while quantity would be less, the quality of the harvested grape was nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe, which should make for excellent wine. It added that the combination of good wine and lower quantities meant that prices were also likely to rise.