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Provence 2017 wine production slumps 12% as quality rises

Published:  27 April, 2018

Wine output from Provence slumped by 12% or 21 million bottles in 2017 following harsh late frosts, according to the region’s winemakers.

Total production fell by 11.9% from 176 million bottles in 2016 to 155 million last year. Production of rosé fell by 10.9% to 139 million bottles.

“The main reason for this was the weather last year – frosts in particular,” confirmed a spokeswoman for Vins de Provence.

“A period of frost at the end of April affected some of the vines that were budding early, particularly those in the centre of the Var. From the end of May, the weather was much warmer and drier than usual, which meant the vines were able to continue development.”

Despite the fall in production, also impacted by some arid areas suffering from water stress, growers reported a well-balanced harvest in terms of maturity, yielding high quality wines for the year.

“The rosé’s of the 2017 vintage are luminous in appearance and come in a palette of pale pink colours ranging from salmon to antique rose,” added the spokeswoman. “The wines are expressive with good aromatic potential, freshness and alcoholic richness.”

Eighty nine per cent of the region’s output last year was rosé wines. Seven per cent was red and 4% white. A total of 26,948 hectares across Provence were producing grapes for last year’s harvest, with an average yield of 43 hectolitres per hectare.

There are a total of 547 registered producers in the region, 486 of them independent and 61 co-operatives. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah are the most commonly used varieties for the region’s basic rosé blend.