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News Briefs for August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013

•France is set to produce a historically short wine harvest for the second year in a row, according to a forecast by FranceAgriMer public agricultural service. The country’s 2013 wine production is expected to tally just 43.5 million hectoliters, the group says, down from a 10-year average of 45.4 million. While a slight increase from last year’s 41.4 million hectoliter harvest, this year’s projected figure would still represent one of the smallest harvests in four decades. FranceAgriMer added that early tests also revealed low sugar content across the vintage, which will likely result in lower alcohol levels. Cool temperatures, heavy rains and a series of severe hail storms during the growing season have been blamed for the projected shortfall.

•Bill Foley’s New Zealand wine business, Foley Family Wines Ltd., earned a net profit of NZ$1.7 million ($1.3m) on sales of NZ$30.9 million ($24m) in its first fiscal year, which ended June 30. The figures are based on 12 months of Foley Family Wine NZ’s results and 10 months of New Zealand Wine Co.’s results. Those two businesses were merged to form Foley Family Wines Ltd. soon after Foley acquired NZWC last year. Foley Family Wines Ltd. sold around 650,000 cases of wine last year. Its Clifford Bay label is rising quickly in the U.S. market.

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