Europe is in the middle of a record heatwave and not even the grapes were spared. A new report release on Friday (7.19) predicted that French wine yields could drop as much as 13% due to the weather.
Specifically, the farm ministry predicted production between 42.8 and 46.4 million hectolitres. The estimate represents a five year low and a decrease of between 6-13% over 2018.
“In many vineyards, flowering occurred in unfavorable weather conditions (rain and cold),” the ministry said in a statement to Reuters. “Heat and hail have also contributed to a decline in production potential.”
Regions including Val de Loire, Charente, Bordelais were hit hard by adverse conditions such as hail during flower seasons. This early ailment caused the ministry to initially predict a 2-5% drop.
However, a heatwave coupled with wildfires devastated the grapes in Southern France especially Gard, Herault and Var. A national record high of 46º Celsius (114.6 º Fahrenheit) was logged in June.
The ministry also noted that earlier in the year, frost caused some damage in the prestigious Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.
The report did offer some good news. Although production is expected dip slightly, Champagne escaped most of the perils unscathed.