According to the ministry of agriculture, the harvest forecast for 2014 is on the rise; an estimated amount of approximately 47 million hectoliters (1,242 million gallons), in other words, 11% more than the preceding vintages of 2012 and 2013. The ministry announced a first estimate in July of 46,4 million hectoliters (1,241million gallons).
This increase is mainly due to the regular rainfall of the summer season favoring the “fattening” of the grapes.
These are of course, mere forecasts, and the climate can reserve one or two surprises from now to the harvest period.
If one refers to the 2012 and 2013 vintages, these being historically feeble, 2014 seems to be an auspicious year.
In spite of the adverse weather conditions of June and July, marked by violent thunderstorms and hail, the 2014 vintage seems to be in a normal cycle. The absence of extremely low temperatures in winter and a rather mild spring, has favored the grapes, which seem to be slightly in advance.
The Aude and Herault, the two most affected regions by hail, should see their production reduced by 9% approximately.
On the other hand, the sanitary assessment is good and well controlled. The flowering has been much better than the two previous vintages.
We all hope that the forecasts are going to be as good as the ministry has indicated, in order to obtain a larger allotment of the finest wines…
(picture source: Ouest France)