The Top Wine Producing Countries of the World
A 2013 report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explored wine production in countries around the world. According to the report, annual global wine production stood at 27.421 million tons, and 96% of the total global output came from the top 15 wine producing countries.
According to statistics provided in the FAO report, Italy is the biggest wine producer in the world, with an annual wine production of 4.796 million tons of wine. Italian wine is renowned around the globe for its world-class finesse. Grapes, which are the primary ingredients in winemaking, are grown locally and the country has an ideal climate suited for grape cultivation. There are over one million vineyards located across every region of the country. The domestic wine consumption in Italy is about 42 liters per capita, a testament to the popularity of the commodity locally. The history of winemaking in Italy stretches thousands of years, as the ancient Romans practiced commercial wine-making and large-scale grape growing.
Spain is a major wine-producing country and is ranked second in annual wine production, producing 4.607 million tons per year. Wine production in Spain has a rich history tracing back thousands of years, as archeologists have established the presence of viticulture between 4000 BC and 3000 BC. The country boasts having the largest area under grape cultivation in the world, with over 1.17 million hectares under the crop. Domestic wine consumption is also relatively high with the average annual wine consumption per capita being 5.706 gallons. The wine produced in Spain is characterized by a distinct taste, with Spanish winemakers emphasizing flavor.
Statistics from the FAO report indicate that France, with an annual wine production of 4.293 million tons, is the third largest wine producer in the world, behind Italy and Spain. The wine produced in France varies in quality, with the high-end wines exported to foreign markets, while lower quality wines are consumed locally. Historically, most of the wines produced in France were consumed locally, however, increased prices have caused a steady decline in domestic consumption, with the consumption dropping by about 20% in the late 20th century. This decline has been associated with low-quality wines. There has been an increase in demand for top-quality wines over the years.
The United States is a relative newcomer to wine production, with its viticulture being about 300 years old. However, the US is a world leader in wine production with an annual wine production of over 3.3 million tons, making the country the fourth largest wine producer in the world. The area under grape production in the country is estimated to be over 1.1 million acres, the sixth largest in the world. While wine is produced in all 50 American states, 89% of the total production comes from California. Few grape varieties are native to North America and the most of the American wine is derived from European grape varieties particularly the “Vitis vinifera.” The E and J Gallo Winery is the largest wine producer in the United States and the second-largest globally, accounting for a quarter of the total American sales.
Decline in Global Wine production
A report from the International Organization of Vine and Wine shows that global wine production has experienced a decline, which is attributed to changing weather patterns linked to global warming. South American countries posted the most dramatic decline, particularly Argentina and Chile.