France facing smallest harvest since 1945

Winemakers in France are facing their smallest harvest since 1945 due to the perfect storm of a mild March followed by severe spring frosts in April.

As reported by The Guardian, just 37.2m hectoliters of wine are expected to be made in France year – 18% less than last year, which was also well below average.

“In places where we thought there would be a little less, there’s a lot less,” said Jérôme Despey, head of a governmental wine advisory board.

However, Despey offered a silver lining, revealing that the maturity and good health of the grapes pointed to a year that “will stand out for quality”.

Severe spring frosts in April wiped out entire crops of young buds in vineyards across France, including Champagne, Burgundy and the Loire Valley.

The grape harvest has already begun in southeast France two weeks earlier than usual, with Despey predicting a 40% drop in output from Bordeaux – the country’s largest wine region.

Production in Bordeaux may fall to around 300 million litres of wine, compared to the annual average of 540 million litres.

Hervé Grandeau, chairman of the Federation of the Fine Wines of Bordeaux, has estimated that Bordeaux 2017 prices could rise by 10-20% as a result of the April frosts.

The Right Bank faired much worse than the Left Bank, with the Cotes de Bordeaux and sites around Pomerol and Saint Emilion suffering over 80% crop damage.

In contrast, St-Estephe, Pauillac and St Julien on the Left Bank appear to have experienced minimal damage. This year’s crop from Alsace is also expected to be far smaller than usual.

France experienced extreme heat this year with Beaujolais and the Rhône suffering from an exceptionally dry summer, which will further shrink yields.

One Response to “France facing smallest harvest since 1945”

  1. Charles says:

    I can see big price increases over the hill!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Various Sales Roles (London, Brighton, Bristol, South Wales and East Midlands)

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, Brighton, Bristol, South Wales and East Midlands, UK

Sales Opportunities

Alliance Wine

International Logistic Manager

Wine Source Group
Central London, UK


The Observatory, Old Oak Common Lane NW10 6DX, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador for Central England

Salcombe Gin
Central England, home office with extensive travel , UK

Director of On-Trade & Prestige

Signium Executive Search
South East England ideally, UK

Brand Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, UK

Regional Account Manager

Scotland, UK

Retail Assistant Manager

The Whisky Exchange

Retail Supervisor

The Whisky Exchange

The City Wine Show

London,United Kingdom
13th Apr 2018

Prosecco Springs

London,United Kingdom
26th Apr 2018

Spirits & More

19th May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more