Global wine production falls to 62-year low in 2023

Collecting grapes for winemaking in York
Image caption,This year’s record low yields of wine are due to bad weather in many of the world’s biggest producers

Poor weather around the world is likely to cause global wine production to drop to a six-decade low this year.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) says that wine production around the world is likely to be about 7% lower in 2023 than last year.

Such a yield would be the worst since 1961.

The OIV attributes the low levels of production to bad weather, including frost, heavy rainfall and drought.

“A perfect storm in the north and south hemispheres has created this catastrophic situation,” the OIV’s head of statistics, Giorgio Delgrosso, told the BBC.

The analysis is based on information from countries representing 94% of the global production of the ancient beverage.

Wine production was down in almost every country of the European Union, which produces over 60% of the world’s total. According to the OIV, lower yields are due to rains and storms in some countries and droughts in others.

Yields were down 14% in Spain and 12% in Italy, where dry weather reduced this year’s harvest of grapes.

But it remained perfectly even in France, meaning the country is now the world’s largest producer, overtaking Italy.

The picture was grim in other parts of the world too, with southern hemisphere nations especially affected.

Producers faced a shock in Chile, the largest producer of wine in the southern hemisphere, where yields fell by 20% as a result of droughts and wildfires. The harvest was similarly bleak in Australia, where production was down by a quarter on last year.

The situation was rosier in the US, however, where production was up 12% on 2022.

There may be some good news for wine lovers.

Though poor global production is bad for the industry overall, the OIV notes that falling global demand could mean the overall market remains relatively balanced – avoiding a drop in prices.

“As economic growth in China has slowed since 2018, we’ve seen consumption and imports of wine drop significantly,” Mr Delgrosso said.

“Low production is not good news, but lower consumption levels might help balance out prices.”

In August, the French government announced that it would allocate some €200m (£171.6m) to destroy surplus wine stocks as the industry struggled to adapt to falling demand.

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