Production was down last year, so prices will go up, experts say
By Katrina Caruso
Global wine production fell to a 60-year low in 2017—down 8.6% from the previous year, the International Vine and Wine Organization (OIV) announced in late April. Due to the decrease in production, prices are expected to go up, especially for cheaper bottles, and quality is expected to go down.
European vineyards endured nasty weather last year. As a result, wine production in Europe dropped 14.6% from 2016 to 2017. In Italy, France, and Spain—the world’s top three wine producers—production was down 17%, 19%, and 20%, respectively. Even with the drop in production, however, the three countries together produced a total of more than 110 million hectolitres (mhl—a hectolitre is 100 litres) of wine (42.5 mhl, 36.7 mhl, and 32.1 mhl, respectively), accounting for almost half of the 250 million hectolitres produced worldwide in 2017.
Meanwhile, production levels stayed strong in the United States and Australia, the fourth and fifth largest producers, and production was up in Argentina, the sixth largest. China is now No. 7.
Global consumption of wine, which declined after the 2008 economic crisis, has been rising steadily since 2014. The United States has been the top consumer country since 2011 and sipped 32.6 million hectolitres last year. France came second (27 mhl), followed by Italy (22.6 mhl), Germany (20.2 mhl), and China (17.9 mhl).
With production down and costs rising, experts are warning consumers to expect that quality will go down, with lower tier wines dropping the most in terms of taste.