A good year for French wine

The French grape harvest was slightly lower in 2015 compared to last year due to a lack of rain, but industry professionals are still expecting an exceptional vintage.

The French ministry of agriculture’s figures are always eagerly awaited by wine lovers the world over, particularly since France reclaimed its status as the world’s top wine producer last year after a two-year slump due to heavy rains and low temperatures.

The ministry announced on Monday that the nation of wine lovers is on track to produce 46.5 hectolitres of wine in 2015, a decrease of 1 percent compared to 2014.

France has just made its way through the third-hottest July since 1900 with less than half the rain than usual, according to French meteorologists, which impacts the size of the grapes.

The ministry’s statistics department said the year’s harvest should nevertheless still be higher than the annual average for the past five years, or 45.6 million hectolitres of wine.

The ministry figures were on par with the industry’s own estimates, which said on Saturday that France would produce 46 million hectolitres of wine in 2015.

The agriculture ministry added that recent improved meteorological conditions could even push the figures higher in the coming weeks.