The weather is picking new winners and losers in the wine world. Annual wine output last year was up in Argentina, Australia, and South Africa, but down in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Chile, and China.
The net result is that global wine production dropped to a 60-year low.
World wine production fell by 9% last year, to 25 billion liters (enough to fill 33 billion bottles). The last time annual production was so low was way back in 1957, at 17 billion liters. Wine consumption continues to grow at nearly 2% annually.
The main reason for the decline in production was bad weather in Europe, which hit the biggest producers in France, Spain, and Italy. Production in the US, the world’s largest wine producer, and China, its seventh-largest, wasn’t affected as much.
Climate change will likely make things worse for the traditional leaders of the wine world. Although no one can be certain about which regions will win and which will lose, the further away from the equator, the better the chances for wine growers in a world that is getting warmer and wetter. Three places that may emerge as wine-growing hubs in the near future include England, Michigan, and Tasmania.
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