wine production up despite drought

After a disastrous 2021 vintage, French wine production is on the rise again: it should reach 44.6 million hectoliters in 2022, up 18%, without however being spared by the exceptional drought of the summer, estimated the The Minister of Agriculture.

The first secateurs were given early in the Hérault at the beginning of August because of the high temperatures which accelerated the ripening of the grapes and the harvest is nearing its end in almost all the wine-growing areas, indicated the Agreste, the statistical service of the ministry.

As of October 1, he estimates that the 2022 harvest should exceed the average of the last five years by 4% and surpass it more widely in Champagne, Burgundy or Corsica, according to figures published on Friday October 7.

Some vineyards held up better than others

This prospect allows the wine industry, faced with the challenge of climate change, to look a little more calmly to the future after a 2021 harvest severely reduced by spring frost and falling to 37.8 million hectolitres. This estimate for 2022 is at the top of the range given by Agreste in early August, which bet on production between 42.6 and 45.6 million hectoliters.

The historic summer drought did not spare any region, but some vineyards held up better than others. In Champagne, the harvest is coming “exceptional”welcomed its union of winegrowers (SVG) on Thursday, which set its yield at the start of the season at 12,000 kg per hectare, the highest level for fifteen years.

In Burgundy, the harvest will also be “well above the five-year average”. In Languedoc-Roussillon, the irrigated vines are those that have resisted the best, underlines Agreste. Enough to limit the damage of the drought and not to undermine the potential of a promising vintage too much.

Bordeaux and Alsace particularly affected

In contrast, “the lack of rain from spring and the high heat in summer reduced the potential in several basins, particularly in the South-West”where the harvest will be even lower than that “particularly weak” of 2021, notes the Agreste.

In Bordeaux, “The berries remained small for the reds with little juice on pressing. The April frost and then the hail in June affected the vineyard (10,000 hectares)” and production will be lower than the five-year average.

Same observation for Alsace, which suffered 40% losses on certain plots due to frost after Agreste, then suffered from a prolonged drought, impossible to catch up with the late summer rains.

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