France: Back to Normal

The latest harvest estimates on 1 October confirmed production of 44.6m hl. Compared to the very small 2021 crop, this means an increase of 18% - close to the 5-year average.

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France breathes a sigh of relief: after the disastrously small 2021 crop
France breathes a sigh of relief: after the disastrously small 2021 crop

There was a big sigh of relief when the French Ministry of Agriculture came out with the first harvest estimates at the beginning of August: Good yields were forecast - despite a difficult growing season. Those estimates were confirmed as 44.6 mill. hl. 

The harvest began two weeks and, in some places, earlier than on average 14 days, but in some places even more than three weeks, earlier than usual. The drought created largely healthy grapes. The drought stress on the vines was eased by rainfall from mid-August and in September, which also provided a significant volume of juice for the grapes.

Harvest in France
Harvest in France

Some regions even achieved above-average harvest results. Languedoc and Roussillon are among the winners of the 2022 harvest, with yields of 12.6 mill. hl, 9% above average. In the southeast, too, rainfall shortly before the harvest was able to limit must losses, and yields are above average as a result. Philippe Pellaton, President of the Inter Rhône Association is relieved: "Despite the drought, the vines on both sides of the Rhône Valley vineyards have held up incredibly well."

After non-stop bad news from Bordeaux - frost in April, hailstorms in June, severe drought and fires - people braced themselves for the worst. Nevertheless, the region missed its 5-year average by "only" 5%. In Champagne, favourable conditions, meaning little frost damage, a wet spring and the subsequent drought resulted in about 3.1 mill. hl of wine, which is 33% above its 5-year average. Burgundy also finished 16% above average, while Beaujolais failed to do so due to hail and drought.

On the other hand, Alsace, Savoie, the Loire Valley and above all the Southwest, where the severe drought continued in September, suffered losses. With 2.6 mill. hl, the region is 21% below its average. Jura and Corsica, on the other hand, recorded good results. (ITP)


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