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'Catastrophic' year for Swedish wineries

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'Catastrophic' year for Swedish wineries
10:08 CEST+02:00
Sweden's winegrowers have reported a bad year for Swedish wine, with a late flowering and heavy rains leading to massive harvest losses.

"We winegrowers are an enduring breed. You have to be persistent," said viticulturist Thorsten Persson of the Ekesåkra vineyard in Löderup in Skåne County to news agency TT.

After a bad harvest last year, where frost hit hard against the vines as late as May, this year's rain and late flowering has meant that some 80 percent of Persson's harvest has gone to waste.

Luckily, there is no connection between losing parts of the crop and the quality of the harvest, and Persson's wines have been awarded distinctions in the past.

Other Swedish winegrowers call 2012 '"catastrophic" and speak of having had several consecutive bad years.

In Åhus, southern Sweden, viticulturist Ronny Persson feared for some time that he would not harvest at all this year.

However, it didn't turn out as bad as he feared and the vineyard now believes all the grapes will be harvested by the end of October. And the grapes which have been brought in so far have been of good quality.

“We haven't had any problems with mould or anything like that. It will make a fine wine,” he said to TT.

Sweden isn't the only country to have seen bad harvests this year.

For Italy and France it has been the worst season for half a century and Thierry Coste, EU expert on viticulture, confirmed to TT that all the main wine-producing countries have seen harvests fail.

TT/The Local/rm

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