WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Europe’s vineyards are travel destinations for tourists because of their panoramic view and excellent wine.
- This year, however, wine production decline in quantity due to past extreme weather conditions affecting the grape harvest.
- The harvest this year is the smallest in 36 years due to droughts, frost and hail that the continent experienced.
There’s no doubt that Europe produces the best tasting wines in the world. But, grape harvest this year is low due to extreme cold weather and lack of rain. The quality of the wines, though, is expected to still be excellent.
On Tuesday, the European Union’s Copa-Cogeca farm union said that the extreme weather conditions mean the harvest is assumed to drop by 14 percent. Some parts are even experiencing a decrease of as much as 33 percent. This means wine production will go down to a level not experienced since 1981 at 145 million hectoliters.
“France and Italy were particularly badly affected,” chairman of Copa-Cogeca wine division Thierry Coste said. The two countries were Europe’s biggest producers.
Italy, the biggest wine producer in Europe, dropped by 26 percent compared with last year’s production. France will be down 18 percent. Most hit in Italy was Sicily with a decline in production of 35 percent.
“The quality of the grape is nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe, which should make for an excellent wine,” Coste said. “The combination of good wine and lower quantities means that “prices are also likely to rise.”
During the 1980s, wine production often soars around the 210 million hectoliter mark. But the wine industry controlled the production, to make less but better wine. Since then, the need to cut subsidies based on bulk has also resulted to lower yields. Climate change and extreme weather temperature have affected wine production in certain years.
Wine production these days never exceeds 170 million hectares a year anymore. And this year’s estimate is particularly low. The decline in the European wine grape harvest has an instant effect on the global wine market since EU production accounts for some 60 percent of worldwide output.