Over one million bottles of 'excellent' Walloon wine for the 2019 vintage

Over one million bottles of 'excellent' Walloon wine for the 2019 vintage
While the number of litres will be similar to last year, the yield is a little less since a small thirty hectares have been added to Walloon production, going from 165 in 2018 to 188 in 2019. Credit: Creative Commons

The 2019 vintage of Walloon wines will be marked by an "excellent quality", Pierre Rion, president of the Association des vignerons de Wallonie (AVW), told the Belga agency on Friday.

In terms of quantity, the results should also be there, with more than a million bottles produced, even if some winegrowers have suffered some losses during the spring frosts.

Unlike the rest of the agricultural sector, which has suffered from drought, vines are only slightly sensitive to water stress, with roots drawing water up to 25 metres below the ground.

"The heat is precisely very good for the grapes because it destroys the mushrooms. Organic farming is, therefore, easier," explains Rion. Episodes of hail, thunderstorms, wind or rain are much more destructive.

In addition, while global warming poses increasingly significant problems in some regions of France, the opposite is true in the more northern regions. "The maturity in sugar and acidity is more in line with the grapes' phenolic maturity. Everything is in agreement to facilitate finding the optimal harvest time," says the association's president.

Finally, Rion also noted, an "eco-system" is developing in Wallonia. "Winegrowers are becoming more professional both in terms of pruning and equipment, wine tourism tours are being organised, training centres are opening and are fully booked... In a year or two, 80 more winegrowers will arrive," he concludes, adding that he predicts a marked increase in the sector.

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