If you thought local winemakers were having a tough year, spare a thought for their counterparts over in Europe. According to The Drinks Business, they are expecting the worst harvest in 36 years. The severely affected regions, include France, Italy and Spain. Italy has been the most affected with volumes expected to be some 21% lower than last year, whilst Spain and France are each expecting a 17% drop.
This will have a serious impact on the wine farms, recently reiterated by Jerome Despey head of Governmental Wine Advisory Board, who stated that France’s harvest will be the smallest since 1945. He also noted that the output for Bordeaux is expected to drop ± 40% from last year’s. Jerome stated that the reason for this was mainly due to the severe spring frost that affected all the regions to varying degrees at a sensitive time for the vine.
It is not all doom and gloom for winemakers in Europe though, especially those who ply their trade in Portugal, Austria and Romania. These regions are expecting their outputs to increase by 10%, 23% and 35% respectively. Whilst warm weather and drought has wreaked havoc on the EU’s production levels, there is reason for optimism if you plan on drinking a 2017 vintage. The increase in temperature, combined with drought, means that the impact of diseases was greatly reduced. Which, as Jerome Despey notes, means that the maturity and health of the grapes will happily increase the 2017’s quality.
In conclusion, the 2017 European vintage will be one recognised for its quality as well as its lack of yield. Best you start stocking up!