Global wine harvest bounces back after 2017 lows

With an estimated production of 282 million hectolitres in 2018, global wine levels have rebounded strongly after hitting a record low in 2017.

The Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has said that the projected global wine harvest is one of the highest since 2000.

As was widely reported last year, terrible weather in Europe in particular saw the global harvest fall to 246.7 million hectolitres, the lowest level for 50 years.

The situation is entirely reversed this year. The European powerhouses of Italy (48.5mhl), France (46.4mhl) and Spain (40.9mhl) have all recorded much improved harvests after frosts and heatwaves decimated their 2017 crops.

Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania have also recorded harvests above their five year average and while it wasn’t mentioned in the report, across the UK growers have enjoyed bumper crops too.

Portugal and Greece however did post decreases versus 2017, in the former as a result of mildew (a problem in many southern areas this year conversely) and in the latter as part of a general decreasing trend.

In Europe therefore, there has been a 19% bounce overall after 2017 with 168.4mhl forecast, up from 141.1mhl last year.

Around the world, Chile and Argentina recorded harvest increases of 36% and 23% to 12.9mhl and 14.5mhl respectively versus last year, which will be very welcome after two years of low production and Brazil, despite recording a smaller crop than in 2017, also maintained a reasonable level too.

In the US the crop remains stable at 23.9mhl, New Zealand’s 3mhl remains high although Australia’s production declined slightly to 12.5mhl after big harvests in 2016 and 2017.

In South Africa meanwhile, the on-going drought kept production to just under 10mhl and down to its lowest production since 2012.

With this forecast, 2018 looks set to be the fourth biggest global harvest since 2000, after 2006 (283mhl), 2013 (290mhl) and 2004 (298mhl).

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