Areas under vine in the EU continue to decrease

Areas under vine in the EU continue to decrease

This year's global wine harvest will be the lowest in 37 years due to ongoing declines and bad weather in Europe's main producer regions, new figures show.

Wine production will range from between 243.5m hectolitres and 252.9mhl in 2012, according to the International Organisation for Vine & Wine (OIV). This is a “very low wine production level, not seen since at least 1975”, the OIV said yesterday (30 October).

Global wine production last year reached 264mhl, a 1mhl rise from 2010, the OIV said.

Europe will see an “exceptionally low 2012 harvest” after five modest harvests in a row, caused partly by heavy rain across most of the continent. European Union (EU) payments to wineries to “grub” vines over the past three years has also hit production, the OIV said, adding that areas under vine are continuing to fall despite the ending of payments. Within the EU, only Greece and Portugal saw production estimates increase this year, the OIV said.

Meanwhile, Chile is estimated to enjoy record levels with a 15% increase on 2010 levels, the latest year figures are available for. South Africa is on course for a 4% increase while the US could see a 7.1% increase, though on a weak 2010 comparison.

However, the OIV warned: “While there seemed to be several signs of recovery in 2010, the 2012 situation and particularly the low production level, casts doubt on the strength of this recovery.”

Last year, the OIV predicted increased production levels in Europe in spite of the EU's grubbing up efforts. Levels increased by 0.4% between 2010 and 2011, the OIV said.