A series of measures was announced on Friday 5 May to come to the aid of winegrowers impacted by two nights of frost at the end of April on more than half of the Bordeaux vineyards, ie a possible loss of harvest of “more than 50%”, according to a diagnosis update of the inter-profession.
This is “a series of measures which will help but not replace the loss of earnings of wine growers (…) to help (them) get over the course”, the President of the Chamber told the press. of agriculture in Gironde, Bernard Artigue, after a crisis meeting with, in particular, professional organizations, State services, insurers and banks.
Tax measures, postponement or payment of contributions, the establishment of partial unemployment, financial measures, restructuring of the vineyard as well as aid from local communities will be proposed.
Insurance, which only concerns 25% of winegrowers, and the Individual Complementary Volume (VCI), stock of the last vintage made up by winegrowers and used in the event of a natural disaster, should allow the winegrowers concerned to raise their heads. But the interprofession stressed that the majority of winegrowers were not insured and that the most affected were the winegrowers who make wine in bulk, sold their 2016 harvest and in fact have no stock.
Potential loss of 1.5 billion in turnover
“Today, estimates show more than 50% crop loss but everything depends on the regrowth in June,” said the president of the Federation of great wines of Bordeaux (FGVB), Hervé Grandeau. This represents, with the VCI, a harvest of more than 3 million hectoliters against 5.7 million hectoliters for the excellent 2016 vintage. If the buds do not leave by June in the vines, the sector will accuse then a loss of 1.5 billion in turnover.
“It’s a halt to regain shares on the international market (…) When markets are lost, it is very difficult to regain them”, he continued, recalling that all French winemakers were affected as well as northern Italy and Spain.
Faced with this natural disaster which affects more than half of the Bordeaux vineyards, a price increase is also to be expected. “It will take a moderate increase, from 10 to 20% would certainly be possible”, according to Mr. Grandeau.