China steams ahead as global wine production drops 3%

China’s area under vine is now the second largest in the world after Spain, with the country seeing the biggest growth in wine consumption of any country in 2016, according to the OIV’s latest annual report on the state of the global wine industry.

Global wine production fell 3% in 2016, but China bucked the trend growing its vineyard surface area and consumption

The director general of the OIV, Jean-Marie Aurand, presented its statistics on global wine production and international trade in 2016 at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris on 11 April.

Overall, the size of the global area under vine remained at 7.5 million hectares in 2016, with China the only country to have significantly increased its vineyard production area this year, with the majority of country seeing vineyard area stabilise or decrease.

China’s vineyard surface area increased by 17 kha to 847,000 hectares, following a steady trend since 2010, placing it as the country’ with the world’s second largest vineyard area.

Spain remains home to the largest area under vine at 975,000 hectares, with vineyard area steady, with France following China in third position with 785,000 hectares of vineyards.

Unlike China, both Spain and France have seen their area under vine decrease steadily since 2010, along with Turkey.

While still placed fifth with 480,000 hectares under vine, Turkey saw the biggest decrease in plantings, which dropped by 17 kha. Portugal also saw a significant drop in vineyard surface area, which decreased by 9 kha.

In Europe, only Italy saw its vineyard area increase, growing by 8.2 kha to 690,000 hectares.


Overall wine production declined by 3% compared with 2015, falling to 267 million hectolitres in 2016 compared with 2015.

Italy (50.9 mhl) confirmed its position as the world’s leading producer, followed by France (43.5 mhl) and Spain (39.3 mhl).

In South America and South Africa unfavourable climate conditions throughout the 2016 vintages affected production volumes. Production volume dropped sharply in Argentina by 29% to 9.4 million hectolitres, in Chile by 21% to 10.1 mhl, in Brazil by a hefty 55% to 1.6 mhl and by 6% in South Africa to 10.5 mhl.

Countries that saw the biggest rise in production volumes included New Zealand (34%), the US (10%), and Switzerland (18%).


Global wine consumption remained stable compared with 2015, coming in at 242m hectolitres in 2016.

The US was confirmed as the world’s biggest consumer, consuming 31.8 mhl of wine in 2016 – a title it has held since 2011 – followed by France (27.0 mhl), Italy (22.5 mhl), Germany (20.2 mhl) and China (17.3 mhl).

The UK came in in fifth position with 12.9mhl, after China which consumed 17.3mhl. This represented the biggest increase in wine consumption of any country, at +6.9%, signalling this region’s growing importance within the global wine trade.

Significant decreases in consumption were reported in Hungary, Argentina and Romania, while consumption in France and Spain remained stable.

Finally, while global volume sales saw a slight reduction of 1.2% to 104mhl, their value increased by 2% to €29 billion, correlating with wider trends of premiumisation throughout the industry.

3 Responses to “China steams ahead as global wine production drops 3%”

  1. You really need to do some fact checking/error correction on figures! Among others: “Turkey saw the biggest decrease in plantings, which dropped by 17 hectares. Portugal also saw a significant drop in vineyard surface area, which decreased by 9 hectares.” Gee, 17 ha decline-really? I think you left a few zeros off don’t you think?

    • Lauren Eads says:

      Hi Joel,

      Thanks for your comment and apologies for the oversight on these figures. Of course it should have stated 000′ hectares on several of the figures. I have now corrected.


  2. YIYI says:

    Hello, Lauren Eads
    Do you have the figure of the production of China in 2006?Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Brand Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London UK

Marketing Assistant

Speciality Brands
Park Royal, London, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

International Sales Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Brand Marketing Executive

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Millésime Bio 2020

27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more