PARIS – French wine production is expected to increase this year and the harvest could start soon after the warm weather, according to forecasts from the country’s Agriculture Ministry, just as Italy and France try to curb premium production to support the prices.
In a report containing its first forecasts for 2020, the French Ministry of Agriculture forecast Friday production of 44.7 to 45.7 million hectoliters, an increase of 6 to 8% compared to last year and slightly above the country’s average for the past five years.
One hectolitre equals 100 liters, or 133 standard bottles of wine.
The vines generally benefited from favorable spring weather for flowering, although late blight disease affected parts of the southwest and hailstorms in the Bordeaux region caused production losses of up to 30%. in some areas, the ministry said.
A developing drought in France could curb the expected increase in production this year, he added.