The European vintage for 2015 should be of "a very high quality" after a year marked by clement weather and succesful harvests, wine growers said Wednesday.
"This year we have the opportunity to be able to present a vintage of very high quality," Thierry Coste, a French wine grower who heads the wine group within Copa-Cogeca, the main European farm union, told reporters in Brussels.
"The climate was particularly suitable for winegrowing throughout Europe, with warm temperatures in July," followed by cooler ones as the grapes matured, Coste said.
It was rare to see such clement weather across the continent, he added.
Production also increased in 2015 with France recording 47.7 million hectolitres while Italy, now the world's top producer, accounted for 50.3 million hectolitres.
Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Portugal also recorded strong production increases.
"We had very few diseases," said Italy's Palma Esposito, vice president of the wine working group in the union.
"In July, drought conditions required emergency irrigation and increased production costs," she added.
Some regions of Spain were also affected by the drought and saw production decline 5.3 percent.
"However, the quality is much higher, with one of the best qualities of grape in these last 15 years," a Spanish winegrower said, adding Spain is likely to produce 42 million hectolitres this year.