Uh Oh. Worldwide Wine Production Is Woefully Low

Global wine production has sunk 8.2 percent in 2017.

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Photo by: helenecanada ©helenecanada

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While you sip your Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir with dinner tonight, take a moment to truly appreciate it. Worldwide wine production has sunk to its lowest level in 50 years, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine recently announced.

And that was before the wildfires in California wine country took their toll.

According to the OIV, in 2017, global wine production is down 8.2 percent below what it was in 2016, with historically low production in Western Europe. Italy saw a 23 percent decline, while production in France was down 19 percent and Spain 15 percent. Wine production in Germany and Greece were also low.

The intergovernmental industry organization attributed the decrease to a series of extreme, crop-affecting weather events, including frost and drought.

On the bright side, production rose a bit in Portugal, Hungary and Austria, as well as Romania, which rebounded after two years of disappointing harvests.

In the United States, wine production for 2017 was down only 1 percent — but that number was recorded in August and doesn’t factor in the potential effects of the California wildfires, which laid waste to swaths of Napa and Sonoma, last month.

Vino production in South Africa, which was low in 2016, increased overall, but not in Chile, which saw an additional 6 percent decline from 2016’s low levels in 2017.

Australia was also a bright spot, with wine production increasing 6 percent over 2016 levels — marking a third straight year of increases. And while wine production in New Zealand was down 9 percent, the OIV noted that production was actually pretty high — 2016 had been a record year.

I know, so much data to drink it. Some experts have predicted that, while prices for wines from some regions may rise, an overall wine shortage is unlikely. Phew. That’s something to toast, for sure.

Photo: iStock

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