French wi­ne har­vest among the smal­lest for 30 ye­ars

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

FRANCE - This year’s French wi­ne har­vest is among the smal­lest for 30 ye­ars, down 10 per­cent on last year alt­hough not qui­te as bad as fea­red, au­tho­ri­ties said Tues­day. French gra­pe gro­wers ha­ve pro­du­ced 43.2m hec­to­lit­res, ac­cor­ding to da­ta re­lea­sed by the French agri­cul­tu­re mi­ni­stry, saying the 1 No­vem­ber har­vest esti­ma­te was 6% lo­wer than the aver­a­ge of the last fi­ve ye­ars. Hail, frost and mil­dew ha­ve ra­va­ged French vi­ney­ards sin­ce the spring, even if “pre­ci­pita­ti­on sin­ce mid-Sep­tem­ber has be­ne­fi­ted vi­nes whe­re har­vest had not yet star­ted,” said the mi­ni­stry’s Agres­te sta­tis­tics ser­vi­ce. The re­sult is “one of the wea­kest (har­vests) for 30 ye­ars,” even if not as bad had been fo­re­cast, said the mi­ni­stry. In Sep­tem­ber ex­perts said the gro­wing sea­son had been chal­len­ged by frost and hail alt­hough cap­ped by abun­dant suns­hi­ne, pre­dic­ting a small yield but one of “gre­at qua­li­ty”. On Tues­day the mi­ni­stry said the out­put slump “is most­ly due to the spring­ti­me frost” which no­ta­bly hit the Cham­pag­ne, Bour­gog­ne (Bur­gun­dy) and Loi­re Val­ley re­gi­ons, and the lack of rain fur­ther south near the Me­di­ter­ra­nean.

But in the Cham­pag­ne re­gi­on, whi­le the fall in pro­duc­ti­on was sig­ni­fi­cant, it was not as se­ve­re as fea­red due to “very fa­vou­ra­ble wea­ther con­di­ti­ons at har­vest ti­me,” it said. France is the world’s top wi­ne ex­por­ter by va­lue, ac­coun­ting for 29% of the mar­ket at €8.2bn($9.1bn) in 2015. In terms of vo­lu­me, France ranks third with 14m hec­to­lit­res last year, ac­cor­ding to the In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on of Vi­ne and Wi­ne.

(The­gu­ar­di­an.com)

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