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Rotting Grapes From Bordeaux to Burgundy Cut French Wine Outlook

on 08/11/13 at 10:37 am


BBR-and-PM-PicFrance cut its outlook for wine production for a fourth time after botrytis rot due to wet weather caused grape losses in Bordeaux and Burgundy, adding to damage from poor flowering and summer hailstorms.

The volume of the 2013 vintage may rise 2.2 percent to 42.3 million hectoliters (1.12 billion gallons) from 41.4 million hectoliters in 2012, the Agriculture Ministry wrote in a report late yesterday. The forecast was cut by 1.74 million hectoliters from a month ago, equivalent to 231 million bottles.

The threat of rot by botrytis fungus prompted growers in Burgundy, Bordeaux and southwest France to harvest early, sometimes picking not fully ripened grapes, the ministry said. Rot also forced “major sorting” and cut volumes in Alsace, the Loire Valley and Charentes, according to the ministry.

“Botrytis developed in an exceptional manner in October in the western regions, the southwest, Burgundy, Beaujolais and Alsace, favored by frequent rainfall,” the ministry wrote.