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Rhône Valley expects high quality vintage and yields in line with 2018

Published:  13 November, 2019

Vignobles de la Vallée du Rhône has estimated that the 2019 harvest across the Rhône Valley will be down on 2017 but in line with 2018, with expectations “very high” in terms of quality. 

The regional body said the vineyards had shown “resilience in difficult year for France”, with early estimates indicating that the Rhône Valley’s 2019 harvest will stand at around 2.6 – 2.8 million hl – higher than in 2017, and closer to 2018’s 2,764 million hl. 

At the same time, it said, spring’s localised attacks of frost and hail, followed by summer’s scorching temperatures and drought, were predicted to drive grape harvests down by some 14% across France.

 “As harvesting comes to an end, Rhône Valley winegrowers are aware how fortunate they are to have a healthy crop and expectations are very high in terms of quality across the board,” it said. 

Initial forecasts for Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages predict a rise in yield of 5% compared to 2018, with overall volumes set to reach 1,690,000 hl: 1,360,000 hl for the Côtes du Rhône regional appellation - up 6%, and 330,000 hl for Côtes du Rhône Villages - a 4%increase.

 Figures for the northern sector are equally positive, according to Vignobles de la Vallée du Rhône, particularly in Condrieu and Côte Rôtie where harvests are looking good in both quality and quantity, it said.

Saint Joseph, Cornas and Hermitage ware looking at yields similar to last year, as is the southern Côtes du Rhône Crus, it added. 

Crozes-Hermitage, meanwhile, is expecting a fall in volume largely due to a freak hailstorm in June.

 Costières de Nîmes and Grignan-les-Adhémar are predicting yields only very slightly lower than last year, along with Ventoux (245,000 hl) and Duché d’Uzès AOPs, while Luberon AOP reports a predicted rise of 2% compared to 2018 (155,000 hl). 

Finally, Clairette de Die and the wines of the Diois are also looking forward to a somewhat larger harvest than last year.