EU wine experts say that vintners recover somewhat from bad 2012 harvest; expect good year

BRUSSELS - The grape harvest in the European Union has picked up from the extremely bad 2012 season but still left key wine regions such as France's Bordeaux and Bourgogne struggling because of inclement weather.

Several wine producing regions were left with the worst harvest in half a century last year, so the European vintners want to regain global market share with a more bountiful harvest to serve clients as far away as China and the United States. Overall EU production is estimated to swell by 15.2 per cent compared with last year.

Thierry Coste, an expert with the EU farmers' union, said Wednesday that overall production will still be below the five-year average. France remained below the 2011 levels, but Italy and Spain have markedly picked up with sizable increases.