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Wine and Spirits

Glasses half-empty as global wine output hits 50-year low due to production slump in France, Spain, Italy

The United States’ production is forecast to see only a minimal fall, but that does not count for recent devastating wildfires in California

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 6:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 7:00pm

Worldwide wine production tumbled 8.2 per cent this year to hit a 50-year low because of climate fluctuations, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine said on Tuesday.

The total output of 246.7 million hectolitres was due in large part to steep drops in the top three wine producing countries: Italy, France and Spain.

In Italy production slumped 23 per cent to 39.3 mhl, while in France the drop was 19 per cent to 36.7 mhl.

Production in Spain fell 15 per cent to 33.5 mhl, according to the Paris-based organisation, an intergovernmental body that provides scientific and technical advice on vines and wine.

In the world’s fourth-largest producer, the United States, production is forecast for to have held up better, with a slide of only 1 per cent to 23.3 mhl.

However, the OIV noted that the forecast was based on US government estimates made before the outbreak of wildfires in California that ravaged two of the state’s top wine producing areas, the Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

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A six per cent increase in wine production to 13.9 mhl helped Australia to fifth place. It was the nation’s third consecutive annual increase in output.

Argentina rebounded from a bad 2016 harvest, with output shooting up 25 per cent to 11.8 mhl. But it still has not recovered to its 2015 level.

In South Africa, production was steady at 10.8 mhl.

There was no 2017 data available for China, which produced 11.4 mhl in 2016.