Extreme weather harming French vineyards
The Ministry of Agriculture in France has announced that the country's wine output may fall by as much as 13% following weather conditions including hail, frost and a record-breaking heatwave.
The ministry's first forecast earlier this year estimated production in a range of 42.8 million to 46.4 million hectolitres, down 6-13% from 49.4 million in 2018, reports Reuters.
Representing 100 litres, a hectolitre is the equivalent to around 133 wine bottles.
The ministry's initial 2019 forecast range was also 2 - 5% below the average production of the previous 5 years.
The ministry said: "In many vineyards, flowering occurred in unfavourable weather conditions. Heat and hail have also contributed to a decline in production potential."
Western growing regions such as Bordeaux were particularly affected by flowering conditions during spring, while some southern areas saw grapes scorched during a heatwave last month.
At the end of June, France recorded its highest-ever temperature at 45.9 degrees Celsius or 114.6° Fahrenheit.
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