French 2018 harvest expected to be 30% bigger than last year’s
Despite inclement weather and the scourge of mildew, French wine production in 2018 is expected to be up 27% on 2017 figures and 7% on the five-year average, according to Agreste, a French agriculture ministry service.
Officials estimate production will be between 46 and 48 million hectolitres, and anticipate the harvest starting early in many areas.
In Champagne, high temperatures have brought vineyards 15 days ahead of schedule, while Burgundy and Beaujolais could see the harvest begin three weeks earlier than usual thanks to good flowering.
Even the Loire Valley, which was one of the worst affected regions for mildew, appears to be 15 days ahead of schedule.
Historical harvest figures were dented by the 2017 season, which yielded one of the smallest vintages since 1945. According to Agreste, 2018 is set to be around the size of 2014, 2015 and 2016.