Champagne production expected to jump this year but Bordeaux has less to celebrate

Champagne production is expected to increase by 56 per cent this year compared to 2012 – some 16 per cent higher than the average yield over the past five years.

However, the French agriculture ministry has cut its overall wine production forecast to 11 per cent growth this year following a particularly poor harvest in 2012.

Output is projected to rise to 45.8m hectolitres (1.21bn gallons) from 41.4m hectolitres in 2012. This outlook was cut by 888,000 hectolitres, equivalent to 118 million bottles.

The agriculture ministry put this down to a cold and humid June resulting in unpollinated flowers and falling berries, unevenly developed bunches and excessive rainfall in the southwest.

However, a warm July means output for the Loire valley is now expected to be 41 per cent higher at 2.79m hectolitres. This has been revised upwards from 35 per cent.

Not all regions will increase production. Bordeaux is projected to see 7.8 per cent fall to 5.03m hectolitres – and that’s not taking into account the hailstorm on Friday that resulted in 80 to 100 per cent losses over 17,300 acres of vineyards.