Weather extremes cause global wine production to drop 8% says OIV

Global wine production is expected to fall by 8.2% in 2017, according to estimates from the Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV).

Very low production in Europe is cited by the organisation as the main cause with production levels at historic lows in France, Italy and Spain.

Germany also recorded lower production from the 2017 harvest.

The OIV attributed the falls to “climate hazards” including widespread frosts and drought.

Total world production is estimated at 246.7 million hl, 8% down on 2016.

Production was up in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Austria, Hungary and Romania.

Italy’s production is estimated by the OIV to be down 23% over the year though it remains the biggest single producing country.

French production dropped 19% and Spanish wine by 15%.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said the news could have an adverse effect on wine prices.

“Following frost and drought across Europe, and wildfires across the USA, winemakers globally are facing a drastically reduced harvest this year,” he said.

“It’s a keen reminder that wine production remains at the mercy of the weather. 

“As the biggest per capita importer of wine in an international market, the UK is bound to feel the effects of an increasingly challenging environment. Prices for consumers will inevitably rise.

“UK wine businesses have already had to contend with the sharp devaluation in Sterling, rising inflation and uncertainty following the Brexit vote, all of which add cost to companies making wine available to the UK’s 30 million consumers, who have already seen price hikes.

“These factors come on top of the Chancellor’s decision to impose a hefty 3.9% increase in alcohol duties earlier this year, which saw the average-priced bottle of wine sold in shops hit £5.58, up 4% on last year. 

“The last thing UK wine businesses, their employees or British consumers need now is another rise in excise duty in the Chancellor’s second Budget on November 22. Philip Hammond should take note and freeze duty.”