Despite a mediocre harvest, weighed down by weather conditions , Spain will be the second largest wine producer in the world this year. 35 million hectoliters. Only Italy is ahead, as, exceptionally, it surpasses France.
It is the third time in this century that Spain has achieved this position worldwide, after 2003 and 2013. On this occasion, the explanation lies in the disastrous French situation, whose production has fallen by 27% due to frost, to a level not seen since 1957, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine.
In its outlook report for 2021, the institution estimates that this year will see the second worst harvest of the century worldwide. It narrowly exceeds the levels of 2017, another horrible year for the sector, and remains 7% below the average of the last two decades.
And the main reason for this downturn is due to the climatic situation in the three main wine producers: Italy, Spain and France. Although the most pronounced fall is in the Gallic country, the other two powers also suffer a decline in their production.
But if we talk about value, there are no changes : France remains the undisputed leader, despite everything.
Returning to volume, and to better understand the dichotomy that the wine market is experiencing, the United States has strengthened itself as the fourth world power, with 6% more production.
Next in the ranking are Australia and Chile, which have both registered increases of 30% in production, which has allowed them to surpass the other major South American actor, Argentina.
The countries of the southern hemisphere, as a whole, are going to reach a record production level, with almost 20% more than the previous year, thanks to the absence of climatic incidents, which has boosted the harvests.
Because as recalled from the International Organization of Vine and Wine, in a report collected by EFE , the increases in the harvest have nothing to do with an increase in the areas dedicated to this crop.
China began a reconstruction in its wine sector of which neither the direction nor the end are intuited
And what about China? What about that world power in so many sectors? Well … it doesn’t taste good. It is the great black hole in the world wine market, after a restructuring of the sector began five years ago, in which no one knows what its end is or what direction it is heading.
The organization’s experts, in fact, do not even dare to present forecasts on the production of the Asian giant. In 2020, for example, its production fell to half that of 2016.
The only thing that experts dare to anticipate is that it is the only country in which consumption is not going to recover, after the global setback registered in 2020 by the pandemic.
In this sense, world consumption will rise 2% this year, although it will not yet be able to exceed pre-pandemic levels. The general director of the organization, the Spanish Pau Roca, is optimistic, because the sector is showing signs that it is adapting to the conditions, especially those imposed by the COVID crisis.
For example, while wine represents 14% of sales of alcoholic beverages, in online commerce that percentage shoots up to 40%.
The challenge? The challenge is the impact that climate change will have, the increasingly regular natural disasters.
In spite of everything, it does not mean that global warming will geographically displace wine regions, for example to northern Europe. Because wine is an activity closely linked to the territory. What producers will have to do is play with the different elements to enhance the results, such as vine varieties or cultivation practices.