Champagne Yield Up 56% In Bumper Crop Year
Champagne lovers are expected to celebrate as official French statistics show a 56% increase in production this year.
The Agreste statistics, drawn up by the agriculture ministry, revealed that the country's overall wine production was also expected to increase by 11% this year compared to 2012, when the harvest was particularly bad.
Champagne came out as the big winner, with the ministry predicting a 56% rise year-on-year, an increase of 16% compared to the average yield over the past five years.
But the good news for one French region comes after 17,300 acres of vineyards in the Bordeaux region last week suffered 80 to 100% losses - an area almost as big as the island of Guernsey.
"The affected area is very big and entire properties are devastated and have lost almost everything," said Bernard Farges, head of the Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council, which promotes wine from the area.
Even without the latest damage, the Agreste statistics predicted that the Bordeaux region would see an 8% drop in production compared to 2012.
Bordeaux is not the only wine-producing region to have been affected by violent storms in France this summer.
Burgundy was also devastated by hail in July, although the latest Agreste figures have already taken into account damage incurred in that region.
Fine French wine has increasingly become a status symbol in emerging markets.
China, which is now the world's fifth biggest wine consumer, recently bestowed label protection on the Champagne name.
The ultra-rich have already taken to paying up to £200,000 for the finest bottles.