Global wine production is anticipated to drop to a low not seen in six decades due to adverse weather conditions worldwide.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) predicts a 7% decrease in worldwide wine production for 2023 compared to the previous year.
This production level would mark the lowest yield since the year 1961.
The OIV attributes this significant drop in production to adverse weather conditions such as 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.
Even in France, it remained perfectly so, which now makes the country the largest producer in the world, surpassing Italy.
The scenario was likewise grim in other world regions, with nations in the southern hemisphere being particularly impacted.
In Chile, the top wine producer in the southern hemisphere, producers encountered a shock with a decrease in yields by 20% due to droughts and wildfires. The harvest in Australia was just as bleak, with a decline in production by a quarter compared to the previous year.
On the other hand, the US saw a brighter situation, with a production increase of 12% compared to 2022.
There may be some good news for wine lovers.
Despite the fact that subpar global production is detrimental to the industry as a whole, falling global demand could possibly result in the overall market maintaining a balanced state, hence averting a fall in prices, according to the OIV.
“Since the economic growth in China started showing signs of slowing down post 2018, a significant decrease in both wine consumption and imports has been observed”, stated Mr Delgrosso.
“While low production is a concerning issue, the price balance could be potentially achieved through reduced consumption rates,” he added.
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.