Burgundy wines may become even more difficult to find because of vine disease and smaller harvests from aging vineyards, according to a new report by the region's wine council. While demand for Burgundy is strong, and prices for top wines remain high, overall harvest size is set to shrink – and not just due to the perennial threat of hail storms.
Burgundy vineyards have ‘aged and the yields reduced significantly since 2000 in response to a range of factors’, said Corinne Trarieux, of the BIVB Technical Centre. The first problem relates to degenerative vine diseases such as esca or fanleaf, which affect almost 14% of vineyards and ultimately kill many vines. More than 100,000 hectares of vines across France were lost to disease in 2014, French government figures show.
The age of vines is a problem, too. In Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire, 60% of the vines are over 30 years old. The average age of a Burgundy vineyard is 50 years, which causes lower yields. Turnover of vines is under 1%. The replanting of dead vines only and not the whole area – ‘complantation’ – is a factor in low production. Officials conclude that, in the face of climate change, growers need to be proactive in addressing the various issues.
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