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Lowest harvest since 1991 for French wine

media But winegrowers say this year's vintage looks promising.

This year’s grape harvest in France will be "exceptionally low" at 42.5 million hectolitres, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll told a meeting of wine industry representatives on Thursday.

Le Foll said this year's harvest would yield the lowest volume of wine since 1991, but that the situation was the same around the world.

Last year's French harvest was 51 million hectolitres.

Winemakers say that though production will be down because some vines were damaged by the frost and hail earlier this year, this year's vintage looks "promising".

Figures show an increase in wine and brandy exports last year.

14 million hectolitres worth 7 billion euros were sold, which the minister said was “equivalent to the sale of 154 Airbus planes”

And the date has been set for this year’s Beaujolais harvest, which will begin on 7 September.

Beaujolais and Champagne are the only two French wines whose grapes are still harvested almost completely by hand.


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