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Wild weather hits world wine production

Torrid weather from El Niño in South America to frost and hail in France means that the world will produce millions fewer bottles of wine in 2016, the International Organisation for Vine & Wine has predicted.

World wine production is set to plummet to a near 20-year low this year, thanks to poor weather conditions affecting countries as diverse as France, Argentina and South Africa.

According to early estimates from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), some 259.5m hectolitres of wine will be produced around the world in 2016, 5% down on last year’s figure.

That would place 2016 among the three lowest-production years since 2000, but the picture varies hugely among the world’s biggest winemaking countries.

While Italy retains its world-leading position with estimated production of 48.8m hl (down 2% on 2015), second-placed France is likely to see its amount of wine made this year fall 12% to 42.2m hl.

Spain ranks third (37.8m hl, up 1%), but both Germany and Portugal are set to record production falls, down 4% and 20% to 8.4m hl and 5.6m hl respectively.

While production in the US rose again (+2% to 22.5m hl), there were sharp declines in South America: Argentina will produce 35% less wine this year (8.8m hl), and Chile’s production is down 21% to 10.1m hl.

South Africa is also down, with production falling 19% to 9m hl, but both Australia (+5% to 12.5m hl) and New Zealand (+34% to a near record 3.1m hl) made more wine this year.

The global fall in wine production comes at a time when consumption is likely to be increasing: while the OIV has no definitive figures on wine consumption at the moment, it is likely to have risen on last year, to between 239.7m hl and 246.6m hl.

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