This year’s grape harvest in Bordeaux will be the smallest since 1991, the region’s wine trade body announced on Friday.
The Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) revealed that the combination of a poor spring and hailstorms during the summer had reduced the size of the crop by the equivalent of 1 million hectoliters of wine.
In 2012, the 60 appellations that make up the Bordeaux wine-growing region produced 5.25 million hectoliters; this year, that figure will be reduced by around 20 percent.
“In terms of volume, the 2013 harvest is going to be the worst since 1991,” said Bernard Farges, president of the CIVB.
Compared to previous vintages, a crop in the low 4 million hectoliter range is very small. In 2011, the Bordeaux region produced 5.46 million hl of wine, 5.71 million in 2010, and 5.74 million in 2009.
“Coulure has had a huge impact,” Farges explained. Coulure is a form of poor fruit set, whereby the smallest berries on a bunch fall off soon after flowering. This is commonly due to cold, wet weather in the spring.
Farges noted that coulure had caused a loss of around 800,000 hectoliters, while the hailstorms of the summer wiped out an additional 200,000 to 300,000.
“These are two different problems," he said. "The impact of coulure has affected all vineyards. The hail was concentrated in one area and some growers won’t have anything to harvest at all."