01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

‘Extremely low’ wine production in Europe due to bad weather

Sadly the article is confused, short on detail & if one reads further down, GLOBALLY the year’s expected volume seems to have fallen by 4% compared to 2020 and is 7% lower than its 20-year average. However in the European Union, production was forecast to fall down 13% from last year.

I imagine the situation is more nuanced, given widespread European frosts early this year (Burgundy esp.)

So… is now a good time to stock up on 2019’s before anticipated price hikes for the 2021’s? or will the reduced volumes in Burgundy produce higher quality?

Surely the wine lake that has mysteriously appeared in my reserves since finding this community is testament to my powers of predicting such disasters.


I am no climate change denier - it seems pretty straightforward that an environmental disaster is unfolding in front of our eyes - but by the same token, my understanding of European production values is that they have been reducing for years (partially politically driven, we all remember the ‘wine lake’, an initiative to reduce volume and increase quality without causing economic chaos).

13% over 20 years doesn’t sound out of the ordinary given the framework. Notwithstanding that I am sure production is and will be affected by Climate Change.

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I think the article says -13% since last year. Its difficult to get a measure because last year might have been a bumper year for all I know.

So is this reduction in volume a good thing or bad? is there a corresponding increase in quality?

given that it is due to frost, compounded by mildew, I think that quality is likely to be down as well

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Apologies!! 7% to me seems in keeping with the general trend. Caveat: I am no expert.

Nor I.

According to an article in Le Monde based on the same report, France’s production is down 27% this year, compared to reductions of 9% in Italy, and 14% in Spain. That puts the French as third in volume this year, behind Spain, who they’re normally ahead of.

(In French, and maybe behind a paywall)

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I used to buy my wine in dozens. Then I moved down to sixes and from here on in I buy it in threes. I feel like I’m doing my bit. The shame is it still costs me the same (or even more)!


Thanks Robertd. Interesting article, no paywall - and better than the Grauniad in terms of detail. Strangely, compared to the G. climate change isn’t mentioned.

France has dropped to no.3 in terms of volume, but remains no.1 for sales value. As Rio_Jano says: frost, mildew, lack of rain have compounded to hit the French vineyards. They are crossing their fingers for 2022.

But the new world vineyards, have experienced a 17% increase. So… not all bad then.

Love the phrase: (talking about Spain taking the lead in wine production volumes) elle grille la politesse à la France.


That was a new one for me, too. Not the sort of thing you ever learn at school!

I always found Le Monde quite challenging to read compared to other French newspapers…

Frost and mildew seems reminiscent of complaints from the 60s and 70s too. The former will impact volume, though probably not quality, the latter probably both.

These emphasise that it may be as much about climate change as warming.

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@lapin_rouge, @robertd: Funny expression to use, as if unfortunate weather events were somehow some sort of Spanish conspiracy to hinder French wine-making!

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It seems to be a general expression for “overtake” - see


As per @MarkC, I do find Le Monde is a good way to improve my knowledge of French colloquialisms, but sometimes requires a little research when reading :slight_smile:

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I confess I’ve been discussing it with a French friend who says it does have a connotation of “not quite fair play”, perhaps just the Spanish taking an (unfair!) advantage of the difficult weather events in France!

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So presumably 2021 Burgundy will not only be a difficult year in terms of quality, but also there wont be much of it ! So those producer’s who succeed, will ramp the price up. TWS buyer’s will have their work cut out.

I wonder what effect it will have on Beaujolais?