French wine producers ‘running out of grapes’ amid drought

“Drought of severity and chronic high temperatures are causing what could be one of the worst harvests in decades,” the AP reported earlier this week. The dry weather is having serious repercussions on the wine harvest in southwest France. Torrential downpours had ruined some crops, while the drought has made it even harder for grapes to ripen and opened the way for ripening bugs to take hold. As of last week, 44 percent of grapes were yet to be harvested, three times more than at this time last year. Rain and light hail showers throughout the month of August worsened the situation, yet most vineyards have not been able to harvest because the weather has been so unpredictable, a labor of love in an area where harvesting is based on the seasons.

Winegrowers who contracted with customs to ship their grapes abroad face massive fines, since there are now clear import quotas of 500,000 boxes, according to the AFP. It’s only natural that some growers are choosing to sell their wines rather than wait for a harvest to come in.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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