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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wine News : France Wine Output Falls to 40-Year Low on Champagne, Beaujolais

Low Supply due to poor harvest, assuming constant Demand means Higher Prices for the French 2012 wines?

The damage to France’s grapes and vineyards means world wine output will be the smallest in at least 37 years, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine said Oct. 30. Italy will pass France as the biggest producer, the group estimates.

“This is the lowest harvest since at least 40 years,” the ministry wrote. “This year’s peculiarity is the variation in grape weight in the vineyards in most of the regions, resulting in disparate yields from one plot to the next.”

Grape harvesting has ended and production turned out 97,000 hectoliters higher than forecast a month ago, based on the estimate. France in an initial outlook in July had predicted wine production of 46.7 million hectoliters.

The country’s wine growers suffered winter drought, frost, wet conditions during flowering, damage from mildew and other funguses, hail storms that destroyed grapes in Burgundy and Beaujolais, an August heat wave and a dry September that caused drought stress and smaller grapes.

France exported 7.17 billion euros ($9.1 billion) of wine and champagne in 2011, accounting for 13 percent of the country’s farm and food exports. In the first half of this year, wine shipments rose 14 percent to 3.57 billion euros, government data show.