Côtes du Rhône regional appellations

A pat on the back for the economic health of Rhone wines

Thursday July 20 2017 by Vitisphere

The Côtes du Rhône producers’ organisation held its AGM on July 4 and used the opportunity to discuss the appellation’s economic situation for the coming financial year and harvest prospects for 2017.

The economic situation ranges from good to very good”, summed up Philippe Pellaton, chairman of the red Côtes du Rhône appellation. For the last three financial years, prices on the bulk market have remained stable and consolidated at around €140/hl. Transactions picked up again in June, reflecting demand replenishment after a period of slow decision-making by buyers at the start of the financial year. Inventories are stable at around 800,000 hl. “Our economic model works with a value/yield ratio that enables wine farms to make a living”, added Pellaton. With the exception of some marginal incidents in areas that suffered damage from hail and frost, the Rhone Valley has also come out unscathed after several years of hazardous weather elsewhere.

A relatively small, early harvest

With fairly low cluster counts for Syrah and shatter on Grenache, the 2017 harvest should be relatively small and low compared to average. It will not be “disastrous” however, nor too long, which has reassured the marketplace. “It will be early and very good from a quality perspective”, said Pellaton.

In view of the appellation’s “balanced” situation, the organisation’s AGM decided to keep yields on a par with 2016 at 51 hl/ha for Côtes-du-Rhône, 44 hl/ha for the Villages and 41 hl/ha for the named village appellations. The authorised top-up yield or VCI was also kept the same, at 5 hl/ha for Côtes-du-Rhône and 4 hl/ha for the Villages and named village appellations. The amount of VCI accrued over two financial years now totals 59,000 hl. “The system is being accepted, wine growers are becoming familiar with it”, said chairman Philippe Pellaton.

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