Historically Low Wine Harvest Forecast for Europe This Year
A flooded vineyard in the south of France. Bad weather is expected to plunge the harvest to record lows.
Bad weather hurts harvest
European farmer organisations and cooperatives are forecasting a significantly lower and shorter wine harvest in 2021/2022 due to challenging weather conditions across Europe. Wine production in the three major producing countries – Italy, France and Spain – is estimated to be around 117.3 million hectolitres, an 18% drop from 2020/21. "In addition to the spring frosts which reduced yields by approximately 30% in France and northern Italy, hail, droughts and mildew have further accentuated the losses," agricultural agency Copa Cogeca reported. However it noted that quality of the grapes is considerably better and bodes well for quality.
Sharpest drop forecast for France
The spring frosts in France, which reduced yields by about 30%, coupled with summer humidity which caused huge disease pressure, are expected to result in a historically low harvest. Copa Cogeca forecast a plunge of 29% compared to 2020/21, saying it is unlikely to exceed 33.3 million hectolitres. In Italy, wine production is estimated to drop around 9% to 43.7–45.0 million hectolitres. "Many areas in northern and central Italy were hit hard by spring frosts which destroyed up to 40% of the flower buds, but there are good prospects for white wine," Copa Cogeca said.
Short harvest in Spain
The wine harvest in Spain is forecast at 39.5 million hectolitres, 7 million hectolitres less than the last one. "The harvest has begun with very good quality fruit but is expected to be short, especially due to the summer drought and the occasional frost and hail incidents." In Germany, harvest volumes are expected to be below 9 million hectolitres and below the 10-year average yield due to the mildew, spring frost and hail – and flooding. Portugal is the only country where a slightly increased harvest, up 1%, is expected. Falls in production in Azores, Minho, and Lisbon are expected to be offset by the increases in the regions of Douro and Oporto and Terras de Cister. Good quality wines are expected, Copa Cogeca added.
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