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French grape harvest smaller than last year

This year the weather was not favourable to grape production in France. Olivier Salignon, Director of Val de Nesque explains that "the hail and cold weather meant that there was a loss of yield. Compared to last year we will have 20% less volume. This is due to the hail and the weather not enabling us to ripen certain grapes”. Val de Nesque grow their table grapes over 250 hectares and whilst normally a 1,600 ton harvest is achieved, Mr Salignon expects it to be less this year, between 1,100-1,200 tons. However the advantage is that “the market wasn’t saturated and the grapes sold easily”.

Muscat extra grapes are currently being sold at €2-€2.20/kilo and the PDO Muscats at €2.50/kilo. Mr Salignon says that “these are good prices, but they must be considered in relation to the time spent on the harvest, it is currently taking longer to pick the grapes as they are slightly more damaged than usual."

The Muscat grape is very popular on the French market and most of their production remains in France. However they do export a small amount of their production of Lavallee grapes to Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. Val de Nesque produces both grapes with seeds and seedless, but the seeded Muscat grape is the most popular on the French market. Mr Salignon explains that the main problem with seedless grapes is “that they lack flavour, they have a very basic taste”.

Mr Salignon says that the Muscat grape is not threatened by productions in other countries as it is “a capricious variety, they cannot be grown anywhere, if they don’t ripen, they need ripening, they need heat, they are quite a particular variety of grape”.

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