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WORLD: Global Wine Production in the Pits in 2021

Global wine production volume in 2021 is projected to be historically low due to unfavourable weather in Europe’s wine-growing regions, an intergovernmental wine organisation said on Thursday.

Unfavourable weather in Europe is being blamed for taking down the global production to its third below-average year in a row. Frostbitten France saw one of its worst years in decades. The Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) said global wine production volume in 2021 is projected to come in at 250 million hectoliters (mhl), a drop of 4% from 2020, and 7% below the 20-year average.

An Aerial view of a helicopter spraying vineyards in Spain.

The OIV’s projections show 2021 as the third consecutive year of below-average global output, and approaching the 2017 level of 248 mhl, which was the lowest global wine volume in six decades, the OIV said.

One hectoliter is the equivalent of 100 liters, or 133 standard bottles of wine. 2021 to be a rare European vintage France, Italy and Spain are the world’s three top wine producers, combining for 45% of global volume. OIV Director Pau Roca said unfavorable climatic conditions like spring frost, hail storms and downpours set the countries’ combined output back 22 mhl compared to 2020.

Compared with 2021 volume, Italy estimated a drop of 9%, and Spain’s volume sunk 14%. France’s vintage was hit the hardest, dropping 27% compared to 2020, the OIV said, citing freezing weather in spring, followed by heavy rain, hail and mildew disease, which stunted growth in vineyards across the country.

In the EU overall, production volume in 2021 was down 13% year-on-year. Although the OIV said the high volume “tended to balance” the tanking numbers in the EU, it was not enough to bring up the global production average. There are expectations that global consumption will increase compared to 2020 towards the end of the year as tourism and hospitality rebound.

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