Although the harvest season has ended in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time to make the first estimates of the world’s pond level in 2023. Mother Nature has played tricks on many winegrowers this year. Due to strong weather fluctuations, global wine production is expected to reach around 244 million hectolitres, its lowest level in sixty years, according to data published by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) on Tuesday 7 November. Compared to the volume put into the cellar in 2022, an already rare vintage, the decline is estimated at 7%.
This decrease should be taken into account for the regions most affected by climate risks this year, in this case Italy and Spain. However, these two countries, along with France, make up the top three largest producers in the world. Floods, hurricanes, drought… The scope of the disasters that have struck the vineyards of the center and south of the Italian peninsula is vast, without forgetting the attacks of mildew.
As a result, the flow of wine through the Alps decreased by 12% over one year, to 43.9 million hectolitres. This weakness allows France to dethrone Italy for once and become the world’s leading wine producer, although its yield remains stable at 45.8 million hectoliters. However, Spain is still in third place, but losing ground, with production falling by 14%, to 30.7 million hectolitres. Drought and extreme temperatures have particularly affected the wine-growing regions of Castile and La Mancha.
The United States is doing well
Even if the situation was more favorable in Germany, Portugal and Romania, European production of grape juice fell by 7%, reaching 150 million hectolitres. The dose is more bitter in the Southern Hemisphere, where the level of reservoirs has decreased by 19%, to 45 million hectoliters. No country in this region, with the exception of New Zealand, has experienced any trickles of climate risk. Fires and drought in Chile, frost and hurricanes in Argentina, lack of rain in Brazil, heat waves in Uruguay, excess rain, low temperatures and floods in Australia – the weather conditions have never been so favourable.
In this bleak context, the United States is doing well. The world’s fourth-largest producer of various bottles saw its yield jump by 12%, to 25.2 million hectolitres, after 2022, which is rather favorable. After several years of water shortages, heavy rains benefited vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley.
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