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Weather causes lowest European wine output since WWII

Staff Writer |
Total wine production across the European Union is estimated to be down by about 14 percent in 2017.

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Europe's wine production has dropped to levels unseen since World War II as extreme weather battered top producers Italy, France, Spain and Germany, the main farmers' union said.

The Copa-Cogeca union said quality was high and prices will rise but not enough to compensate producers for losses as drought and frosts linked to climate change damaged grapes.

"This is the lowest (European) harvest that we have seen since World War II," Copa-Cogeca executive Thierry Coste told reporters.

Total wine production across the European Union is an estimated 145 million hectolitres for 2017, down about 14 percent from last year's levels, the union said.

"This year our vineyards have been badly affected by the impact of climate change and extreme weather events ranging from frost to drought," Coste added.

Many producers harvested grapes two weeks early on average, he said.

"The quality of the grape is nevertheless expected to be very good across Europe which should make for an excellent wine," Coste said.

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