Oct 11, 2017

European wine output at its lowest level since second world war

Italy
by
South China Morning Post via AFP
Grapes grow on the vine in a vineyard in Epernay, France. The EU's Copa-Cogeca farm union announced that spring hail and frost, combined with sustained drought during the summer, will force wine production down to its lowest level since the second world war. Photo: AP
Grapes grow on the vine in a vineyard in Epernay, France. The EU's Copa-Cogeca farm union announced that spring hail and frost, combined with sustained drought during the summer, will force wine production down to its lowest level since the second world war. Photo: AP

Europe’s wine production has dropped to levels unseen since the second world war as extreme weather battered top producers Italy, France, Spain and Germany, the main farmers’ union said on Tuesday.

The Copa-Cogeca union said quality was high and prices will rise but not enough to compensate producers for losses as drought and frosts linked to climate change damaged grapes.

“This is the lowest (European) harvest that we have seen since World War II,” Copa-Cogeca executive Thierry Coste told reporters.

Total wine production across the European Union is an estimated 145 million hectolitres for 2017, down about 14 per cent from last year’s levels, the union said.

“This year our vineyards have been badly affected by the impact of climate change and extreme weather events ranging from frost to drought,” Coste added.