Grape expectations? Spain's wine output down 15%

GRAPE HARVEST: Winery of Marques de Riscal in the Rioja area GRAPE HARVEST: Winery of Marques de Riscal in the Rioja area Shutterstock

SPRING frosts and sweltering summer temperatures are being blamed for a drop in wine production in Spain and across Europe this year.

The European Commission estimates the European Union's wine grape harvest will fall to a 36-year low in 2017.

Wine output  in Italy is expected to be down 23%, in France by 19%, and in Spain by 15%, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

But it’s not all negative because, although the amount produced will be lower,  vineyards are saying the quality will be higher.

Around the rest of the world the United States output is expected to be down 1%, while a rise of 6% is expected in Australia and in Argentina a jump of 25% could be on the cards.

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