Harvest Report 2017 – France, Italy and Spain
France is currently facing its smallest harvest since 1945, with exceptionally difficult weather conditions proving a challenge – overall volume will be twenty percent down on the 2016 vintage. Severe spring frosts, localised hailstorms and drought conditions over the summer months have drastically affected the size of the harvest, although quality is expected to be high as the warm dry weather ensured that the risk of vine disease and rot was low.
Burgundy – Côte d’Or: Good yields and quality expected to be high following a string of dismal harvests.
Bordeaux: Early predictions suggest that the region could see a fifty percent shortfall in volume.
Languedoc: Shortfalls of up to twenty percent, due to frost and drought which will prove particularly challenging for large scale producers where volume is paramount.
Since August Italian wine producers have been warning that 2017 promises to be one of the smallest vintages in for sixty years, with output down by twenty-five percent on average across the country. In general terms it was also the earliest harvest for many years. The decline can be attributed to the adverse weather conditions experienced throughout the vintage, particularly savage frosts late in the spring and prolonged periods of extreme heat and drought during the summer months. In spite of low production, quality is broadly expected to be high.
Campania: The Italian region to have suffered fewer volume shortfalls than most.
Central Italian Regions: Tuscany, Abruzzi, Umbria and the Marche have suffered some of the largest volume shortfalls, suffering particularly with drought conditions.
Prosecco: In a region where demand is growing exponentially, the higher volume producing DOC vineyards were particularly badly hit by frost and drought, leading to significant volume shortfalls.
The vintage in Spain has followed a similar pattern to France and Italy. The April frosts caused significant damage to the vines in more Northern regions where such weather conditions are a rarity. The summer heatwaves have further restricted yields, which are expected to be on average twenty percent below the 2016 vintage. Most regions began harvest well ahead of schedule and quality is generally expected to be good.
Rias Baixas: Both quantity and quality are high in 2017, with this normally marginal region benefiting from the heat.
Rioja and Ribera del Duero: Severe frost damage and drought have seen drastic reductions in volume in these premium regions.
La Mancha: In the region that produces over half of all Spanish wine, hail, frost and drought have led to volume shortfalls of twenty to twenty-five percent.