French wine production is expected to fall by 29% compared to 2020, to stand at 33.3 million hectoliters, due to a severe episode of spring frost and the pressure of vine diseases during the summer, according to a new estimate from the Ministry of Agriculture. At the beginning of August, Agreste, the statistical service of the ministry, had predicted a harvest down from 24% to 30% in 2021 (between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectoliters).
As of September 1, he confirms that production will be “historically low, lower than those of 1991 and 2017, also affected by a severe frost in spring”. It is expected to be 25% lower than the average harvest of the past five years. The humid summer weather in part of France favored the development of diseases (downy mildew and powdery mildew), which accentuated losses. The harvest will be later than in 2020, which had been an early year, underlines Agreste.
In the first half of April, almost all of the French wine-growing areas had suffered several consecutive nights of severe frost, while the vines had already started to bud due to a mild winter. In 2021, the yield should be close to that of 1977, when the wine harvest was reduced by a destructive frost and summer rainfall. France is the second wine producing country in the world behind Italy and the first exporting country.