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Wine: French Production Down but Quality Good

Wine production down in France, but the quality is up

HARVEST production should reach 46 million hectoliters, a million less than last year …

After a very dry summer, the Department of Agriculture will unveil this week its wine production estimates for 2015, whilst industry professionals are already predicting a slightly lower yield, but a good vintage.

The statistical department Agreste publishes its forecast tomorrow, Monday at 9am, a figure that is highly anticipated by the international environment of all the wine that France has regained its status in 2014 as a leading world producer, after two difficult years marked by rains and mild fresher temperatures.  This year the situation is different: after the heat wave of early summer, followed by weeks of drought, the harvest has already begun in the major vineyards.

Among the earliest vintages ever recorded

“Since 1950 (…), this is the earliest that a vintage has been recorded, before those of 2003 and 2006,” said Jerome Despey Saturday, the President of the Counseil Vin, FranceAgriMer, which brings together industry professionals.

According to this organization, which sets its own estimates, drought has affected production, which should reach 46 million hectoliters, or a million less than last year.

“This loss of production, should not affect and lose our competitiveness,” emphasized Jérôme Despey, reporting a “buoyant market dynamics on the global aspect,” which requires “a supply not to be compete in the main producing countries, “such as Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

The state to support vulnerable farmers?

Moreover, this decrease in production has “consequences, because behind it is the cost of production,” recalled the winemaker of Herault, also deputy general secretary of the FNSEA.  It calls on the government to “ensure that where there are difficulties, there may be answers to accompany the producers.”

The lack of water, which can stop the maturity of the vine should weigh on yields in Alsace, Loire Valley, Burgundy and Beaujolais.  In the latter region, we may have to announce a withdrawal of production in third.

Optimism in Bordeaux

But in the Southwest, particularly in Bordeaux, professionals are rather optimistic.  Despite the slight overall decline in volume, the quality should be at the rendezvous.  It is “a rather good year towards which we turn this year,” thanks to a “fully ripe, with flavors and wine which is promising,” says Jérôme Despey.

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