Rain bolsters yields of 2021 crop in Bordeaux, Champagne and Cognac

Monday October 11 2021 by Vitisphere

According to the French Ministry’s overview of the 2021 harvest, “Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and Jura were the areas most affected” by frost.According to the French Ministry’s overview of the 2021 harvest, “Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and Jura were the areas most affected” by frost. - Photo credit : DR

According to estimates established on October 1, wine production in 2021 will be in the range of 34 million hectolitres, down 27% on 2020 and 22% lower than the five-year average”, states the latest bulletin issued by the French Ministry of Agriculture's Statistics and Forecasting Service (SSP). The country’s authorities have revised the previous crop forecast upwards – they predicted volumes of 33.3 million hl in September.  The increase can be ascribed to output in Bordeaux (rising from 3.7 to 3.9 million hl in a month), Champagne (from 1.3 to 1.5 million hl) and Cognac (from 8.6 to 9.7 million hl), boosted by “summer rainfall [which] helped the berries to plump up” while also speeding up the pace of harvesting. The Loire Valley also benefited from rainfall, but less consistently. Across the wine regions of France, the picture remains very disparate from one zone, estate and even plot to another, with weather patterns causing very random effects depending on vineyard management techniques and grape varieties.

According to the SSP, expected crop volumes in Languedoc-Roussillon dropped again (from 8.5 to 8.3 million hl), because “drought reduced the volumes” initially forecast. With devastating flash flooding, “rainfall came too late and sometimes led to rot and additional crop losses in this region”, added the Ministry, referring to the damage wrought by spring frosts on early-ripening grape varieties (Chardonnay and Merlot in particular). “In Beaujolais, yields have been revised downwards, as the effects of frost and disease are greater than initially expected”, added the bulletin.

 

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