"Extreme" weather has affected the harvest in EU wine regions, according to Copa-Cogeca

"Extreme" weather has affected the harvest in EU wine regions, according to Copa-Cogeca

European Union wine harvest volumes for 2014 are expected to have dropped by almost 10% year-on-year due to "extreme" weather, according to latest predictions.

Speaking at the Brussels headquarters of European farmers lobby group Copa-Cogeca, Thierry Coste, the body's wine working party chairman, said this year’s harvest may only reach 157.7m hectolitres, some 9.9% less than last year. 

“Due to the different growing conditions in the wine-growing areas, the quality of the grape varied a lot sometimes even in the same region”, said Coste. He stressed the need to regulate vine planting for all types of vines, to ease the volatility around quality.

“Everything was going well until August”, added Coste. But he said quality had since been impacted by “increasingly extreme weather conditions - increasing droughts, storms, rain and more and more hail”.

However, Coste said that EU policies for restructuring vineyards and encouraging technology inputs were helping wine producers deal with such problems. “We are adapting to the weather conditions to get the best for our wines," he said.

He also flagged the current easing of demand caused by the Russian embargo and noted that wine production in the Southern hemisphere was down this year. “When I say the market is tight or firm, it does not mean it is closed”, he insisted, adding that prices would remain stable.