World wine production is expected to fall to its lowest level in 60 years in 2023 due to poor harvests in the Southern Hemisphere and in some major European producers, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) recently noted.
In initial projections, the OIV pegged world wine output, excluding juices and musts, at between 241.7 million and 246.6 million hectolitres (mhl), with a mid-range estimate of 244.1 mhl.
This would be 7% lower than last year and the smallest since 1961 when it had fallen to 214 mhl, the OIV said.
A hectolitre is the equivalent of 133 standard wine bottles.
"This negative scenario can be attributed to significant declines in major wine-producing countries in both Hemispheres," the OIV noted in a statement.
"While in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and Brazil recorded year-over-year variations between -10% and -30%, in the Northern Hemisphere, Italy, Spain and Greece are the countries that suffered the most from bad climatic conditions during the growing season," it added.
OIV expects Italian wine production to drop 12% to 44 mlh, its lowest level since the poor harvest of 2017.
The tumble means Italy will lose its position as the world's largest wine producer, with France set to reclaim the number one spot for the first time in nine years.
Drought-hit Spain kept its position as the third largest wine producer despite its production set to fall to the lowest in the last 20 years, down 14% fall in output from last year and down 19% on the five-year average.
US wine output, the world's fourth largest, was expected at 25.2 mhl this year, an increase of 12% from 2022.
Cool temperatures and heavy winter rains in the Napa and Sonoma regions brought much-needed moisture to the vines after several years of drought, the OIV noted.
News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.