Bordeaux chateaux look set to ease the pain of a weather-blighted 2013 growing season by reporting a much larger harvest this year, officials have said.
Bordeaux's 2014 wine grape harvest is set to be 52% larger than 2013, which was the province's lowest since 1991, France's agriculture ministry said this week in its final pre-harvest forecast. Officials expect Bordeaux to produce 6m hectolitres of wine from its imminent harvest. That would be 8% above the province's average production from the last five harvests. It is subdue too early to make dependable projections about quality.As a whole, France is expected to make close to 47m hectolitres of wine from the 2014 crop, up by 11% on last year, the government facts said. Bordeaux chateau owners and winemakers have spent much of 2014 watching the skies with crossed fingers crossed more tightly than usual. Many saw production cut by between 30% http://1000-facts-about-wine.com and 50% last year after poor weather at critical points in the growing season hampered grape ripening and forced rigorous selection on the harvest sorting tables. For example, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild employed 695 pickers on one day alone to cope with the level of precision required. Elsewhere in France, Burgundy, Beaujolais and the Rhone should collectively produce 8% more wine from 2014 than from 2013, at around 2.2m hl, officials predicted, without being more specific. Beaujolais' trade council has already said producers have seen a similar growing season to the one that produced the highly rated 2010 vintage. In Burgundy, there are again liable to be strong disparities between appellations after violent hail storms ruined swathes of vines in Pommard and Volnay for the third consecutive year.It is set to be a similar tale in Languedoc Roussillon, where some producers in the Aude province lost more than 80% of their crop to hail. Languedoc's 2014 vintage production was predicted to fall by 9% this year, to 12.4m hl. Further north, Champagne, http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Alsace and Val de Loire were predicted to produce 13%, 18% and 10% more wine from 2014 than 2013.