French wine output to fall 18pc due to spring frost

Workers and wine growers light heaters early in the morning, to protect vineyards from frost damage outside Chablis, France April 28, 2017. — Reuters pic
Workers and wine growers light heaters early in the morning, to protect vineyards from frost damage outside Chablis, France April 28, 2017. — Reuters pic

PARIS, Aug 25 — France’s wine production is expected to fall 18 per cent this year after spring frost damaged vines across the country, the agriculture ministry said today.

“The 2017 wine harvest is expected to be 37.2 million hectolitres, which is 18 per cent less than 2016 and 17 per cent below the average over the past five years,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said in July that the cold wrought havoc notably in southwest France, with Bordeaux suffering along with neighbouring Charente, as well as Jura and Alsace in the northeast.

Some losses are also anticipated in the Burgundy region, Languedoc and the south-east.

The bitter cold struck twice within a week in April, ravaging the fragile shoots and buds that had emerged prematurely following mild temperatures in March. — AFP

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