French Wine Production Seen Plunging up to 30% in 2021
Vines Ravaged by Spring Frosts in France
French wine production is expected to tumble in 2021 after severe spring frosts and summer rain ravaged vines, according to official estimates. France’s agriculture ministry said on 6 August those conditions are expected to see the country’s production drop between 24% and 30% this year compared to 2020. “The spring frost has reduced a good part of production, which would be historically low, lower than those of 1991 and 2017,” it said on its website. Late frosts in both of those years resulted in poor grape harvests.
Almost all France’s wine regions were affected by frost in early April from Bordeaux and Burgundy to Champagne. Winemakers battled through the night to try to save their crop by lighting thousands of small fires and candles near vines and trees. Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie described the frost attack then as "probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century". Production from France, the world’s second largest wine producer, has also been hit by wet summer weather, which has caused mildew on grapes. Overall production in 2021 is now estimated at between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectolitres.
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