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France cheers better wine harvest for 2014

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

France will produce around six billion bottles of wine this year, a more successful harvest than in recent years, forecasts from the country's public agricultural authority predicted on Friday.

The harvest is expected to come in at around 45.4 million hectolitres (6.051 billion bottles), an about average amount, FranceAgriMer said.

"After two years of excessively low harvests, we're getting somewhat back to normal ... we see good prospects at the start of this harvest," said Jerome Despey, head of FranceAgriMer's wine division.

Production is due to be up in the Champagne region but down in Languedoc-Roussillon, an area that was blighted by drought in spring, then hail.

France suffered two exceptionally poor harvests in 2013 and 2012, which saw record-low production due to cool temperatures and excessive rains.

Some vineyard owners in famed wine regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy saw their harvests nearly wiped out by severe hail storms.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140121/football-benzema-edges-real-madrid-towards-cup-semis-0