French crop hit by weather
The 2008 French wine harvest will be smaller than in 2007 due mainly to poor weather but also the ongoing uprooting programme and fewer vineyards, according to Viniflhor, the National Fruit, Vegetable, Wine and Horticultural Office
Production is expected to reach 43.6 million hectolitres, almost 5% less than last year's 46.5 million hectoliters, which was already considered lower than the average of around 55m hl.
Rain and hail storms fell on the majority of regions throughout France in July and August and a cold snap in late march/early April hit vineyards from Bordeaux down to Provence at a critical time for the buds.
Regions that can boast a decent 2008 so far include Alsace and the Jura ('situation: satisfactory'), Champagne ('under control'), and Burgundy ('appears satisfactory').
12,000 hectares of vines are being uprooted per year which represents 800,000 hectolitres.