World wine production dropped by 10 percent in 2023 due to climate change

Groot Constantia vineyards. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Groot Constantia vineyards. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 26, 2024


World wine production dropped 10% last year, the biggest fall in more than six decades, due to climate changes, said the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), which covers nearly 50 wine-producing countries.

The OIV has said that the producing industry was affected by extreme environmental conditions, including droughts, floods, fires and other problems caused by climate change, and that the global grape harvest was the worst since 1961.

Which countries were affected the most?

Australia and Italy suffered the worst, with 26% and 23% drops, respectively. Spain lost more than a fifth of its production. Harvests in Chile and South Africa were down by more than 10%.

Jean Naude CEO of Groot Constantia says: “We are monitoring these developments with close interest. We need to first see if this extreme production fluctuation will be repeated next year. Being mainly a red wine producer, we are not too concerned that market forces will change overnight as there are buffer stocks that will deal with the short-term fluctuations”.

People are drinking less wine

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine saw a drop in wine consumption last year by 3%, its lowest level since 1996. This is partly due to price increases caused by inflation and a 25% fall in wine drinking in China due to its economic slowdown.

The Portuguese, French and Italians remain the world's biggest wine drinkers per capita.

Land for growing grapes to eat or for wine fell for the third consecutive year to 7.2 million hectares (17.7 million acres). France has been pruning its vineyards back, with the government paying winemakers to pull up vines or to distil their grapes.

India, however, became one of the global top 10 grape producers for the first time, with a 3% rise in the size of its vineyards.

Climate change, whether it be floods, drought or fires will certainly impact the global wine industry in years to come.

IOL Lifestyle