Close Menu

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.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No