With decreases of 19 to 26% compared to the five-year average, the statistical services of the French Ministry of Agriculture announce a strong national decline. The Ministry of Agriculture is being particularly cautious in the face of the cumulative effects of multiple climatic hazards that are difficult to assess.
In 2021, French wine production "will be historically low, lower than in 1991 and 2017, which were also affected by a severe spring frost", announced the Ministry of Agriculture's Statistics and Forecasting Service (SSP) on 6 August. Recalling that these initial estimates should be taken with caution*, the administration states in its note that "according to the estimates established on the first of August 2021, wine production in 2021 would be between 32.6 and 35.6 million hectolitres, i.e. a level between 24 and 30% lower than that of 2020". Overall, the expected yields in 2021 will be close to those of 1977, "a year when the wine harvest was reduced by a destructive frost and summer rainfall".
The heavy rainfall in June and July was particularly favourable to downy mildew damage, "present even on bunches in Champagne (half of the bunches showed downy mildew symptoms), Alsace (attacks should lead to losses. Powdery mildew is also threatening), Beaujolais, Val de Loire, Charentes and South-West" indicates the SSP (forgetting Burgundy and Bordeaux which are nevertheless affected), reporting the development of "powdery mildew and sometimes black rot or botrytis depending on the region". Falling on a national vineyard lead by the frost of April 2021 (especially in Burgundy, Rhone Valley and Centre-Loire for the ministry) and affected by the coulure and millerandage (Centre, South-West, Provence and Rhone Valley), these precipitations put pressure on the yields, whose forecasts remain to be specified warns the SSP.
Concerns in the Industry
The consequences of this poor harvest needs to get taken very seriously. The whole wine industry will be directly impacted in 2022 with low supply and high demand worldwide.
At HK Butler, we launch a partnership program with 40 different winegrowers based in Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, Champagne & Provence to stock wine for year to come, here in Hong Kong.