In partnership with ARAEX Grands

Production, exports and consumption of Spanish wines...

In partnership with ARAEX Grands

Spanish wine industry in numbers

In terms of vineyard area, Spain has the highest amount in the world – almost one million hectares (2.4 million acres).

However, the drier climate and poorer soils result in lower production levels, around 42 million hectolitres per year, below those of Italy and France.

The mountainous orography of the country and its sheer extension result in an amazing variety of wine styles. In quantitative terms, almost half the production is concentrated in one single region: Castilla-La Mancha.

Spain wine industry has been characterised in the last years by two major features, unheard of in the past.

Less domestic consumption

First, Spain is no longer a great wine consuming country. Since the 1970s, the home market has been continuously dwindling, to such an extent that the present per capita wine consumption in Spain is much lower than in the UK. If we also consider, adding to the figure, that more than 70 million tourists are included in the statistic, the picture is very dark.

Spain is a huge wine exporter, at levels that are comparable to Chile and Australia. More than two thirds of Spanish production, around 24 million hectolitres, find their way in foreign markets. The whole production system is steered towards exports, at all price levels.

From that point of view, Spain would indeed be better defined as a ‘new world’ country rather than a classic European producer. The frantic innovation pace in the wine industry in present Spain confirms this new world image.


The second characteristic of Spanish wine is its average prices. Almost half the wine production is sold at unbeatably low prices (in a normal vintage).

No other country can compete with Spain (in particular, with the regions of La Mancha and Valencia), in terms of price to quality ratio. Do not try to find indication of origin for those wines, they are distributed in all kinds of wine products.

Importance of exports

Exports are increasingly important, and there is no sign of it slowing down. In 2016 and 2017, volumes did not increase, but total value did relevantly.

The importance of quality wines, those under an appellation of origin (DOC), is increasing at steady paces. But the value of Spain’s annual wine production, around €4.8 billion, is still far away from France’s or Italy’s.

Still red wines are the main production chapter (€2.7 billion in value), followed by still white wines (€1.1 billion), sparkling, rosé and fortified.

Although production volume for DOC wines is comparatively low (1.3 billion litres), the value is more than double value that of bulk wines.

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