France Forecasts 2017 Vintage as Smallest Since 1945

Grape-growing conditions in France this year may be the worst since 1945.

So says the French agriculture ministry in a recent article from The Guardian. The mild weather of March and a chillier April will likely lead to a dramatically reduced crop output.

Spring frosts negatively affected the vines during a key, sensitive period of their growing cycle.

The French government forecasts an 18% dip in production compared with 2016, and a 17% decline compared with the average from the past five years. The 2016 vintage was already among the lowest in the last 30 years.

Bordeaux was especially hard hit. Estimates have the world-class region down 40% in output in 2017. The northeast regions of Alsace were also reportedly affected greatly by the poor, chilly spring.

Weather has not been kind to France in recent years. Burgundy suffered through hail storms, while Beaujolais and Rhône endured an exceptionally dry summer in 2017 — all reducing grape yield. 

The one silver lining? This summer has been a hot one. Although the output may be low, what can be picked will be of the usual high quality.

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