Wines and spirits: France once again the world’s leading wine producer

France is set to regain its status as the world’s leading wine producer. According to government estimates, confirmed by wine professionals, French wine production should reach 44.5 million hectolitres. This figure should surpass production in Spain and Italy.

In 2023, France expects to produce 44.5 million hectolitres of wine, representing a 3% decrease on 2022, according to the initial report on the 2023 vintage published by the Services de la Statistique et de la Prospective (SSP). However, this harvest should enable France to regain its status as the world’s leading wine producer, which it had lost to Italy since 2015. According to the most recent data, the Italian harvest is estimated at around 43 million hectolitres, with a year marked by mildew problems.

Spanish cooperatives estimate their wine and must harvest at between 36 and 36.5 million hectolitres. Based on data collected up to August 1, the SSP anticipates French production of between 44 and 47 million hectolitres. These estimates remain provisional due to the uncertainty linked to mildew attacks in the Bordeaux and South-Western vineyards, while a persistent drought is raging in Languedoc and Roussillon.

Climatic disturbances

This summer, the situation in France’s vineyards was mixed, with those that were spared by climatic disturbances on the one hand, and those that suffered from them on the other. Localized hailstorms marked the spring and are continuing this summer in regions such as Anjou, Crozes-Hermitage, Mâconnais and Savoie.

However, the main factor affecting harvests was the pressure of mildew, which affected many vineyards, particularly in Corsica, Provence, the Loire Valley and the Rhône Valley. Damage was particularly severe in the south-western quarter of France, notably in Bergerac, Bordeaux and Gascony, where there is still some debate as to whether weather insurance should cover excess water, despite insurers’ refusal to do so. Some areas of the Aude and Hérault regions have also been affected by mildew, but in the Midi, the main problem is drought, which is preventing vines from growing on the Mediterranean coast of Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales.

For the vineyards that were spared, the harvest looks promising in regions such as Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac, Corsica, Jura, Provence, Savoy, Val de Loire and Vaucluse, provided there are no nasty weather surprises before harvest.

Difficult years

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Featured photo : © Press

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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