Top 10 Wine Producing Countries of the World

19. Juni 2018 • News • Views: 78

In 2017, the unfavorable weather conditions especially in western Europe led to a historically low wine production in Europe but also worldwide. According to preliminary estimates of the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine) the global wine production would hit 246.7 mhl down by 8% compared to 2016.

Although wine is produced in more than 60 (!) countries of the world, only 3 countries, namely Italy, France and Spain, account for about 50% of total wine production. Let’s have a closer look at the world’s 10 leading wine producing countries.

Italy

Although Italy suffered from the difficult weather conditions with severe frosts in April, it could confirm its position as the world’s leading wine producer with 39.3 mhl compared to 50.9 mhl in 2016. Almost every region in Italy saw damages from the frosts and later from a drought that even exacerbated the problems.

Major grape varieties: Sangiovese, Trebbiano

France

The harvest in France has fallen to historic lows due to damages from frost in April. These severe weather conditions pushed wine production down by 19% to 36.6 mhl compared to 45.2 in 2016.

Major grape varieties: Merlot, Grenache

Spain

Spring frosts destroyed between 40-60% of the harvest in some areas with small but high-quality harvests in the north and northeast of Spain. As a consequence Spain’s wine production decreased by 15% to 33.5 mhl compared to 39.2mhl in 2016.

Major grape varieties: Tempranillo, Garnacha

United States

The US vintage with 23.3mhl was more or less the same than last years’ with 23.6mhl. While the fires in California wine country in October 2017 hit the international headlines, the state’s vineyards and wineries were not significantly affected. US vintners report  strong quality for the 2017 vintage.

Major grape varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon

Australia

Australia’s 2016 vintage recorded the highest production level with 13.1. mhl since 2008. And this upward trend could be continued with an increase of 6% leading to 13.9 mhl in 2017. There is a very positive trend in the Australian wine industry, beside of production also sales have increased, which is mainly driven by a “premiumisation” trend in the local market as well a strong demand from Asian markets for premium wines.

Major grape varieties: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon

Argentina – NEW

While last year’s wine production was strongly affected by the “El niño” weather phenomenon, in 2017 the production recovered. Argentina could increase its production by 25% to 11.8 mhl in 2017. According to the Argentine wine association, this years grape quality is exceptionally good.

Major Grape Varieties: Malbec, Chardonnay

China

China’s wine production will probably be more or less the same than last year’s (the final number for 2017 have not yet been published) although the area under vines increased. China has the second largest area planted with vines right after Spain, whereby a majority of the grapes are used for other purposes, such as raisins, grape juice or to eat.

In 2017 about 11.4 mhl have been produced.

Major grape varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon

South Africa

South Africa’s wine production volume with 10.8 mhl is slightly larger than previous years’. Like last year, the drought affected many wine regions and required producers to manage water usage very carefully. On the other hand, the dry weather conditions led to healthy vineyards with smaller berries and good colour and flavour concentration. As a consequence a very good vintage 2017 with exceptional quality is expected.

Major grape varieties: Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Cabernet Sauvignon

Chile

2017 has been an atypical vintage for Chile. The weather phenomenon “el niño” kept vintners on their toes because the weather during harvest was very hot leading to an extremely early harvest (about one month early than in previous years) and particularly low yields of 9.5mhl compared to 10.1 mhl in last year (which was already very low).

Major Grape Varieties: Cabernet, Merlot, Carmenère, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc

Germany

Germany was also strongly affected by spring frosts in april which led to dramatic harvest shortfalls. This years production volume was 8.1mhl which is about 10% less than last years’. Germany is the world’s biggest wine importer in terms of volume. Based on the value of wine, Germany ranks third behind the US and UK.

Major Grape Varieties: Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau

Outlook 2019

The weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable and forecasts more complex and difficult. Most wine regions have to tackle against these changes and extremes. But the prospects for this year’s harvest are positive and let’s see what it will bring.

Please let me know your comments and ideas! I am looking forward to reading from you on our YourWineEstate- Facebook account!

Frauke

Picture: Source: Data by OIV and graph by Frauke Kausch, 2018 (numbers are in million hectoliters)

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