The 2014 harvest: 46.40 million hl of wine in France, a return to a normal production level is expected

Tuesday August 12 2014 by Vitisphere

Last year, at the start of June, the French Government statistics and forecasting agencies were predicting “a very uncertain wine harvest potential of 46.6 million hectolitres”. This forecast soon proved to be out, as the 2013 harvest was historically low (42.37 million hl, in line with 2012).

Statistical trial and error which had “repercussions on the market just before the harvest”, resulting in “increases and decreases (in the prices) which didn’t reflect reality”, as Jérôme Despey, president of the FranceAgriMer wine council, pointed out at the last SITEVI show.

In 2014, the experts have been careful to fine-tune their first estimates (click here to read these), publishing them at the end of July despite growth in the vineyards being slightly ahead of normal (closing of the clusters one week early in Champagne).

These estimates, established on 21 July 2014, suggest that wine production in France will come in at 46.40 million hl, i.e. an increase of 9.5% compared to the 2013 harvest. The AOC wine category should see the biggest increase in production: +17% compared to 2013 (at 21.94 million hl). The increase should be particularly important in the Bordeaux wine region, where “despite hail damage in 1,500 hectares of vineyards in the Médoc, the harvest potential should be more than 50% higher” estimate the statistics and forecasting agencies (at 5.63 million hl, compared to 3.84 in 2013), in line with the rest of the Southwest (+39% at 1.23 million hl).

The base wines for the eaux de vies should also see clear growth (+8% at 8.41 million hl) while wines with Geographic Indication should remain stable (+3% to 3.12 million hl). Due to good flowering, low coulure (apart from certain areas in the Rhône and Corsica) and the general good health maintained in the vineyards, a return to normal is predicted for all wine regions. However, obtaining decent production volumes may be more of a challenge in some areas: Burgundy and Beaujolais have (again) been hit by hailstorms (the AOC harvest should nevertheless show a 9% increase compared to 2013, at 2.17 million hl), while hail and drought have created more of a mixed picture in the Languedoc-Roussillon (click here for further information).

 

[Source: Vitisphere; Illustration: CIVL]

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