Prices of red Burgundy boosted by a surge in white wine production

Wednesday December 02 2020 by Vitisphere

 For the 2020 vintage, drought over the summer took its toll on juice yields for the reds, with production shortfalls frequently ranging from 20 to 50% across Burgundy. For the 2020 vintage, drought over the summer took its toll on juice yields for the reds, with production shortfalls frequently ranging from 20 to 50% across Burgundy. - Photo credit : BIVB

Over the past few weeks, prices of Pinot noir labelled under the regional Burgundy appellation have soared by 30%. “A distinction should be made between the generic Burgundy appellation which has gone from 900 to 1,200 euros a cask and AOC Burgundy Côte d'Or, which is doing very well, and has risen from 1,100 to 1,200 euros a cask”, reports Jérôme Prince, chairman of the greater Burgundy wine and spirit brokers’ association. With this year’s red wine crop below par in terms of volume, the surge in prices is due both to properties hanging on to their wines and negociants trying to cover their needs.

From a quantity perspective, there is an imbalance between Chardonnay and Pinot noir. It only takes a short crop for there to be tension”, sums up Pierre Gernelle, director of the federation of Burgundy negociants. “Generally speaking, the harvest was very satisfactory for the whites (Chablis and Mâcon), but insufficient for the reds (Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise)”, confirms François Labet, deputy chairman of the Burgundy wine marketing bureau (BIVB).

Stressing that there was a “huge volume shortfall” for red wines, Labet points out that Burgundy is increasingly white, compounding tensions on inventories and availabilities. Although the BIVB is expecting a bountiful crop, estimated at 1.55 million hectolitres, the share of red wines has plummeted. “We estimate that there will be 75% white wine and 25% red. In the past, the ratio was one third white to two thirds red”, says Labet.

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