Wine production continued to fall in the 2021 harvest in the European Union for the third year in a row, particularly affecting the three major producing countries of Spain, France and Italy, with falls of up to 14%. These three countries represent 45% of world wine production and even 70% of the European Union. For the other EU countries, the harvest volume is slightly higher than in 2020, driven by Germany, Portugal, Romania and Hungary.

This continues the trend of the last three years; mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions and late frosts. The O.I.V.V. expected a low volume of production in the European Union, especially in Spain, Italy and France. Overall, there is a general minus of 22 million hectoliters compared to the 2020 vintage.

At the same time, Spain has risen to first place as a world exporter, ousting France, despite the 14% decrease in volume compared to the 2020 vintage. Spain ranks second in the world ranking for wine production in 2021, with a volume of 38-39 million hectoliters. According to the Spanish Wine Confederation, Spain has typically been the third largest producer in the world, the largest area under vines in the world at 13% of the total acreage and a leader in organic vineyards.

This sharp increase in sales on the domestic and foreign markets, combined with the decrease in production, is reflected in a sharp reduction in stocks and a forecast increase in prices in the coming months, especially for white and rosé wines.

In fact, we started this 2021/2022 campaign with very low available stocks of 2020 wines and our main EU growers and wineries have had good sales so far and fast, if somewhat pricey, shipments.

Interesting and challenging times ahead for the rest of ’22 for sure.

Nick Midwood
February 2022