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All-time low for Languedoc wine harvest this year

Par Vitisphere Le 24 août 2017
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All-time low for Languedoc wine harvest this year
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1.08 million hectolitres is the latest estimate for this year’s crop in Languedoc-Roussillon, established by Coop de France LR at the end of July. It shows that volumes are down by 20 to 30% in Aude, Hérault and Gard but up in Roussillon by 130,000 hl. Of the four wine-producing departments, Hérault is the worst affected by the shortfall with losses expected to be in the range of 800,000 hl compared with the five-year average. Aude is down 600,000 hl and Gard drops below 3 million hectolitres.

Low cluster counts

The estimates will come as a shock to producers. Although the decrease was expected, it is much more substantial than initially thought. Volumes are reported to be at an all-time low due to frost, water stress, shatter and poor fruit set affecting Languedoc. “Cluster counts per vine are low”, is the unanimous verdict of countless co-operative wine growers. In some areas, clusters of red grapes are light with only small amounts of juice.

Some observers even consider Coop de France LR’s estimates to be too optimistic. “I think a more likely figure is 10.5 million hectolitres”, said Guilhem Vigroux, chairman of the Hérault farmers’ union. Whatever the final outcome, the weather from now on will still play a pivotal role in defining this year’s crop. Storms and rainfall forecast for August 24 may mitigate the drop in juice volumes, provided they aren’t too extreme.

 

 

2017 harvest forecasts on July 31

Department

Coop de France LR estimates (in millions of hl)

Agreste estimates (July, in millions of hl)

2016 crop (in millions of hl)

Five-year average (in millions of hl)

Aude

3.1

3.2

3.59

3.7

Gard

2.9

3.2

3.47

3.37

Hérault

4.2

4.4

4.63

5.08

Pyrénées-Orientales

0.8

0.8

0.67

0.77

Languedoc-Roussillon region

11

11.6

12.362

12.92

 

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