The world’s wine production in 2017 is expected to be at its lowest since 1961. Grape harvests, especially in the major European wine-producing countries, Spain, France and Italy , are low. Thanks to surplus production in the last few years there is enough wine available and there will be no shortages for consumers. However, wine experts say this could lead to an overall rise in wine prices.
Global wine production is expected to drop by 8% to 246 million hectoliters, which would be the lowest overall production since 1961. Italy and France have reported that their grape harvest will go down by 20 % each in 2017. Spanish production is expected to drop by 15 %. Nevertheless, the quality of the grapes is expected to be very good.
Countries that have had normal or larger grape harvests, like Australia, Argentina and South Africa will profit from the low European production and be able to sell bring more of their wine on world markets.
The United States, the world’s fourth largest wine producer, has witnessed wildfires in California, the country’s number one wine-growing state. But they have not done any significant damage because the crops had already been harvested.
There are two main reasons for the poor harvest in Europe. Cold temperatures and frost in early spring damaged many vineyards. Dry summers and long heat waves have also lead to a drop in harvest figures. In some areas the decline in production means that small wine-producing families are facing financial problems and sometimes even bankruptcy.
- available = something that can be bought
- bankruptcy = if you are not able to pay the money that you owe to others
- consumer = a person who buys products
- damage = when somersetting is destroyed
- decline = go down, drop
- drop = go down
- especially = above all
- expected = thought to be
- face = deal with a difficult situation
- grape = small round green or purple fruits that are grown for wine
- heat wave = period of time when it is very hot and does not rain
- however = but
- major = very important
- nevertheless = in spite of what was just said
- profit = to have an advantage
- rise = go up
- shortage = not enough of something
- significant = to have an important effect on …
- surplus = more than what is needed
- vineyard = a piece of land where grapes are grown
- witness = see, experience