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Buyers should act quickly to secure Languedoc wine from 2014 harvest

Published:  16 September, 2014

Wine buyers looking to secure wine from the Languedoc this year are urged to act quickly following predictions the yield could be down as much as 40% on last year, according to the grape broking business, Ciatti Group.

Its global harvest report for September is good news for the overall French wine industry with crops across the country expected to be up on last year's poor performance.

With Spain and Italy returning to more average harvests compared to last year's bumper crops, France is set to regain its position as the world's largest wine producer, predicted Ciatti.

It quotes estimates from the French Ministry of Agriculture that the 2014 harvest should reach about 47 million hectolitres, higher than the small 2012 and 2013 harvests.

Most producing regions should be back to an average crop size, said Ciatti.

But it warns buyers to act quickly for although the French harvest should "maintain stable market pricing" it is not all straightforward.

"The concern for buyers," said Ciatti, "is the crop size in Languedoc, which supplies most French varietal wines. The Languedoc crop is only estimated to be 12.4 million hectolitress, down 10% from last year."

It added: "The market is already under pressure for Chardonnay and Merlot, as yields are down by 30?40% compared to a normal year. Although official pricing hasn't been revealed yet, it is believed that a huge price increase is to be expected, with less volume available for every buyer. Consequently, the buying campaign should start quickly at a rapid pace. Quick decision?making will be the key to secure supply this year."

Other areas of France are expected to perform much better. Bordeaux, for example, could be up 52% on last year with a crop of 6,013 hectolitres compared to 3,965 hectolitres in 2013.

The South West is expected to have a 36% higher harvest, the South East 16%, Champagne 13%, Alsace 18%, Burgundy 8%, and the Loire 10%.

Subscribers can read Harpers analysis of the latest harvest predictions released by Ciatti in our Analysis section.