European harvest 2018: France
VINEX’s regional managers work closely with growers, producers, suppliers and brokers in countries around the world to get a hands-on, boots on the ground assessment of what is happening in each of the key wine producing countries.
Here, in the first of a series of reports, we take an overall look at the key European markets and where the land lies as we go into the 2018 harvest.
The overall picture is clear. The harvest is generally very good across Europe and with grapes being picked across the continent more robust figures are coming in about what we can expect. Here we start our round up with a closer look at the situation in France with thanks to VINEX’s French regional manager, Inge Sraetmans.
France: a summary
Here harvest got underway a few days earlier than normal and the market is expecting a good, strong vintage in both production - at around 46 m/hl - and quality which will be well timed to cover some shortages from last year. But there are some caveats.
- Mildrew is a factor in some regions for the 2018 harvest with areas of the Languedoc, Rhône Bordeaux affected in particular. Red grapes have suffered more than whites. This could result in smaller production.
- VINEX’s French regional manager, Inge Straetmans says “maturation for red varietals stopped in the Rhone despite the rain and good weather”.
- There is going to be tension in the rosé market as a result of the mildrew issue with smaller production, for example, in the Languedoc. Although production is expected to be good in Provence supply and demand means prices are likely to be “sky high” for Côtes de Provence rosé and “difficult to get,” says VINEX’s French regional manager, Inge Straetmans.
- It could see more rosé being bought in from Spain to ease supply tensions.
- The situation is not as strong in the South West of France, with the exception of Gascony. Straetmans says a lack of acidity is to blame.
- Bordeaux looks like being a very good harvest for white wines, but there have been issues with ripening and maturation for red grapes.
Back on track
Elsewhere the message is production is very much back to normal for the other key wine growing regions.
- The Touraine is expecting a good harvest for white grapes despite earlier frosts.
- The Loire has also reported this week that it is on track to hit its average production yields.
- The Chablis authorities are claiming this could be the best harvest in 20 years.
- Frosts are also not going to have a lasting impact on Cognac and the Charente area this year.
- The situation is also back on track in Provence, where production is likely to be above average despite milder issues.
- Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace and Beaujolais are also on course for a good to average year and certainly up on 2017.
For more information, contact your VINEX Regional Manager here