In 2021, global wine production is expected to hit “historically” low volumes due to unfavorable weather conditions in European wine areas, including frostbitten France. The low volumes in Europe are negatively affecting the entire global wine production, which is currently on its third below-average year in a row. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine production volume in 2021 is expected to drop by 4% from 2020, coming in at 250 million hectoliters (mhl). This data – which is also 7% below the 20-year average – approaches the 2017 level of 248 mhl: the lowest global wine volume in six decades.
Accounting for 45% of global wine production, France, Italy and Spain are the world’s top three wine producers. However, the volume in these three regions was challenged by unfavorable weather conditions, including spring frost and hail storms. In Italy, 2021 production dropped by 9%, while in Spain it decreased by 14%. The hardest hit region was France, where production dropped by 27% compared to 2020. The country registered a volume of only 34.2 mhl, making 2021 one of France’s worst production years together with 2017 and 1957. According to the OIV, the causes of this drop include heavy rain, hail, freezing weather during spring, as well as the mildew disease that obstacolated the growth in vineyards.
Only Germany – Europe’s fourth largest wine producer – registered an increase in its volume by 4% compared to 2020. Overall, 2021 EU production volume was down 13% year-on-year. Conversely, winegrowing regions in South America, South Africa and Australia registered a 19% increase compared to 2020. However, this volume was not enough to bring up the global production average.
Accoridng to OIV Director Pau Roca, wine growers have to adapt to the effects of climate change, adding that “There are long-term solutions which will require major efforts in terms of sustainable practices for cultivating vines and producing wine.”