The World of wine is slowly changing and with it the list of countries that produce wine. We have seen a shift of wine production from traditional wine making countries to new wine countries. Wine is an alcoholic beverage that has been enjoyed by man for thousands of years. It’s mentioned in Biblical posts, in other works of literature and was the ambrosia of the Gods (apart from Nectar). With such a rich and long heritage, it’s time to see where the world of wine is headed to.
France and Italy has always been known as the world’s top producers of wine and have competed for the top spot for many years. Each country produces on average around 45 million hectoliters a year. That’s definitely a lot of drinking! Although this has been a constant trend for many years with Spain coming a distant third, it seems that the picture may be shifting to a different landscape.
But as there has been a decrease in the consumption of wine in Europe, the production is slowly moving to countries outside of the EU due to an agricultural policy that has subsidies uprooting of the vineyards. This is because there was too much supply and less demand, and to prevent a Wine Lake from happening where the countries would be faced with over production this regulation was kept in place.
Now the production has shifted to locations like the USA, Argentina and South Africa which have upped their production with China also featuring as a big player. The wine production of Europe used to account for 73% of the total wine production in the world which has dropped to 60% in recent years.
Surprisingly, France and Italy used to be the biggest wine consumers in the world, but that number too has declined with the shift moving to the US, China, Russia and Australia. More wine is being exported now to various countries with 40% of all wine being exported compared to the 25% of earlier years. This does mean more diversity in wines for wine drinkers from all over the globe.
As of now the top ten wine producing countries in the world are France, Italy, Spain, USA, China, Argentine, Australia, Chile, South Africa and Russia. Wine needs the right combination of water and soil types for grapes to produce the best wine. Climate plays a huge role in determining the quality of wine that is produced and wine is grown on all the continents of the world barring Antarctica.
France, the leading producer of wines has a large amount of wine growing regions like Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne to name a few. The wines grown in these regions are so famous that they take the name of the region itself. The wine itself is divided into many types according to the environment around in which it is grown. From the more common pinot noir and chardonnay to the more rare qualities like ice wines that need very specific conditions to produce their unique taste, wines have been enjoyed by people from all over the globe.
Wine is not only to be enjoyed with a light meal, it is a social drink that is associated with class and has been collected by collectors from all over the globe. A bottle of wine produced decades and even hundreds of years back not only hold their value but far exceed it, as the rarity of having one exist for so long makes it very valuable. Wines normally can be consumed up to fifty years after its manufacturing or bottling but that may be pushing it – after all, you want to enjoy your drink, not have vinegar with dinner.