World wine production ‘to hit 50-year low’


Red wine.
Science Photo Library

Global wine production is expected to fall to its lowest in more than 50 years, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

The group blamed the decline on extreme weather in Italy, France and Spain – the world’s top three producers.

Total world output is projected to fall 8% from last year to about 247 million hectolitres.

This could help dissipate a global surplus caused by a slump in demand in the wake of the financial crisis.

According to OIV estimates, Italian wine production will fall 23% to 39.3 million hectolitres.

In France, levels will drop 19% to 36.7 million hectolitres, while Spanish production will be 15% lower at 33.5 million hectolitres.

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A hectolitre is 100 litres, equivalent to about 133 standard 750mL bottles.

But for wine-growing regions outside Europe, forecasts are more optimistic.

Australian production is expected to rise 6% to 13.9 million hectolitres, and by as much as a quarter in Argentina to 11.8 million hectolitres.

Output in the US – the world’s fourth-largest producer and its biggest wine consumer – is also due to fall by only 1%.

The OIV said its forecast was based on data collected before the outbreak of wildfires in California’s largest wine-producing regions – Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

There was no data available for producers such as China, which produced 11.4 million hectolitres last year.