Wine Prices Expected to Increase with Low Grape Harvest

By Mark Paquette
October 22, 2012; 5:43 AM
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Europe's wine grape harvest is suffering and, in key regions this year, the harvest will be the smallest in half a century, vintners say.

Two of the countries well-known for producing wine, France and Italy, are expected to be especially hard hit. A combination of drought, frost and hail have damaged both the grapes and the grapevines earlier this year.

Two very well-known, wine-producing regions of France, the Champagne and Burgundy regions, have seen damage to the grape harvest because of hail that fell during the summer months and a few spring frosts. The chardonnay grape is commonly grown in these two areas and is used to produce white wines and champagne.

Farther south, the Mediterranean region had experienced drought conditions over much of the summer months that not only gave grapevines trouble but caused wildfires as well.

Over 2.5 million families in Europe depend on the wine harvest for a living and about 62 percent of the world's wine is made on the continent.

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