Speaking at a press event today, Copa and Cogeca Wine Working Party Chairman Thierry Coste said “This year, our vineyards have been badly affected by the impact of climate change and extreme weather events ranging from frost to drought, with the harvest estimated to be around 14% down on last year’s levels. This has resulted in a premature harvest across Europe, with many producers carrying out their harvest 2 weeks in advance on average. France and Italy were particularly badly affected, seeing an historic low to reach 37 M hectolitres in France at most which is around 18% down on last year’s levels. In Italy, it is estimated to reach 40 M hl, which is down 26% compared to 2016. In Spain, the estimated production is around 36M hl, which is 20% down on last year’s levels. Portugal was the only country to have experienced a rise of around 10% on last year’s levels. Greece and Cyprus also saw increases ”.
“The quality of the grape is nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe which should make for an excellent wine. Prices are also likely to rise but this will not be enough to compensate some producers for their losses. Producers need to have a better insurance scheme. The proposed changes to the income stabilisation tool (IST) in the EU Omnibus Regulation should help here as it will enable aid to be activated when income losses on the farm are 20% instead of 30%”, he added.
Copa-Cogeca Wine Working Party is also working on a constructive response to the EU Commission plan to provide nutritional information to consumers, he concluded.