Wine harvests in Europe have plummeted due to climate change and extreme weather, according to figures released by farming union Copa-Cogeca.
Total wine production this year across the European Union was 145 million hectolitres, 14% down on last year.
This is said to have resulted in a premature harvest across the continent, with many producers carrying out their harvest two weeks in advance.
France and Italy were two of the worst affected countries. France experienced the lowest harvest in 60 years at 37 million hectolitres, 18% down on last year. In Italy, it is estimated to reach 40 million hectolitres, 26% lower than last year.
The quality of the grape is nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe
The French agriculture ministry predicts that the harvest will allow production of 4.9 billion bottles, the lowest since 1957.
In a statement, the ministry said: “The drop in production will be mainly on account of the hard spring frost. The persistent drought in the southeast further reduces production.”
In Spain, estimated production is around 36 million hectolitres, 20% less than 2016. Portugal was the only EU country to have experienced a rise of around 10% on last year’s levels.
Copa-Cogeca wine working party chairman Thierry Coste said: “The quality of the grape is nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe which should make for an excellent wine.
“Prices are also likely to rise but this will not be enough to compensate some producers for their losses. Producers need to have a better insurance scheme.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018