Varying Harvest Volumes in Europe

In these times, it becomes almost the rule that heat, drought, hail or storms threaten the grapes. Nevertheless, the yield forecasts in Europe are different this year, as the examples of France and Spain show.  

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Different forecasts for France and Spain (Photo: archive)
Different forecasts for France and Spain (Photo: archive)

France Above the Five-Year Average

According to information from the French Ministry of Agriculture, a total volume of just under 44 million hl is expected this year (Agreste, 1.9.2022). If the forecast were to come true, the volume would be about 3% above the average of the last five years and 16% higher than in 2021. Forecasts were still very cautious in July considering the long heat and drought period, yet hopes are now firming up for an average harvest. Since harvest started about 14 days earlier than usual in nearly all regions, the current figures should already be quite representative.

Some Lose

The more unfortunate vintners, compared to 2021, seem to be in the areas of Charentes (-8%) and the Southwest (-3%). The latter are even down by 17% compared to the average of the last 5 years. Alsace also expects 11% less yield than the five-year average. 

Large regional differences
Large regional differences

And Many Win

Other regions, however, can rejoice:

  • In Champagne, the forecast yield is 3.1 mill. hl, which is almost double that of 2021. It would also be 33% higher than the five-year average.
  • Burgundy and Beaujolais expect about 2.3 mill. hl, 46% more than in 2021 and 5% above the five-year average.
  • The Loire Valley also reports growth of 35% again in 2022, after the poor previous year, and thus remains in line with the average of the previous years.
  • The South East expects an increase of 18% compared to 2021 and exceeds the average of the last five years by 14%.
  • In Languedoc-Roussillon, where the harvest already started at the end of July, there were initial concerns whether the grapes could take any more rainfall. Nevertheless, the yield will probably increase by 25% compared to 2021, and the average will probably be exceeded by 5%.
  • The Jura has reason to rejoice again after many lean years. The harvest will probably be 227% higher than in 2021, when the frost had virtually eliminated their crop.
  • In the Bordelais, they seem to have got off lightly once again. After about 10,000 ha of vineyards were badly affected by frost in April and hail at the end of June, they expect 4.6 mill. hl this year, which would be 12% higher than last year but 2% short of the five-year average.

 

Spain Faces Clear Crop Losses

The Spanish are forecasting a clearly below-average wine harvest.

Forecast for 2022
Forecast for 2022

Spanish cooperatives estimate the 2022 wine and must harvest at 36.3 mill. hl. According to La Semana Vitivinícola, this is 9.1% less than in the previous year and 13.6% less than the average of the last five years (estimate of 25.08.2022). The harvest losses are attributed to the prolonged drought, which was accompanied by heat waves.

The Semana Vitivinícola itself assumes a harvest volume of between 34.3 to36.3 mill. hl. All in all, the Spanish wine harvest is expected to be 9-14% below the previous year.

  • Only Extremadura (2.9 - 3.03 mill. hl, up13-18%) and Navarra (693,000-725,000 hl, up10-15%) are expected to grow.
  • For Castilla-La Mancha, the most important volume producer, a decline of 13-18% to 18.1 - 19.2 mill. hl is forecast.
  • For Rioja, losses are estimated at 5-10%.

 

Same in Italy

Italy, the largest producer in Europe (OIV, State of the world vine and wine sector 2022), expects harvest losses for 2022 of around 10% compared to 2021.

 

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