French Wine Harvest Ends, Production to Rise to Five-Year High

France’s wine makers finished picking their last grapes at the end of October, and output is forecast to climb to a five-year high after August rain filled the fruit, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The volume of wine produced this year may rise 11 percent to 50.2 million hectoliters (1.33 billion gallons), the ministry said in a report on its website today, repeating last month’s forecast.

Dry September and October weather that followed the August rain limited damage in most regions from botrytis, a fungus that can cause gray mold on grapes, the ministry said. In growing regions on the Atlantic coast, including Bordeaux, losses from the fungus were bigger-than-usual, according to the report.

“Harvests unfolded in better conditions at the end of the period, helped by clement weather,” the ministry said. “They were completed at the end of October for the final plots.”

In the Gironde region that includes Bordeaux, “the harvest at times required a rigorous sorting,” according to the report.

The volume of wines produced with a protected designation of origin, known by their French abbreviation AOP, may climb 7.2 percent to 23.3 million hectoliters, the ministry said. Makers of protected-origin wines generally face restrictions on the amount of grapes or volume of wine they can produce per hectare (2.47 acres) of vineyard.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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