Hospitality Business Magazine

Wine production to fall, New Zealand defies the trend

Image - Wine HarvestGlobal wine production is expected to fall by as much as 4% in 2014 according to a new report from industry analyst Rabobank. New Zealand will hit record production levels and French vineyards are expected to bounce back after a small harvest in 2013, but that is about the limit of the good news. Chile, Italy, Argentina and Australia are all expected to record significant production declines, while harvests in America and Spain will almost certainly drop after bumper crops in 2013.

“With the exception of France, wine grape production in 2014 appears set to decline across nearly every major production region, compared to the large 2013 crop,” Rabobank said in its quarterly report on the wine industry. “The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) has yet to release its official estimate, but we believe that total global production could decline between 2% and 4%.”

Chile’s wine production fell by about 23% this year after severe frosts impacted white grapes in particular, while Italian production is likely to decline by about 15% thanks to poor weather and a smaller harvest in Sicily. Elsewhere, the 2014 harvest in Australia was 7% down on 2013, production in Argentina declined by 8% on last year’s large crop and the US is likely to register volumes around 5-10% below 2013’s record harvest.

Rabobank predicted France would rebound from last year’s challenging vintage while Spain would still record a good-sized crop, despite a decline on last year’s huge harvest. New Zealand is the brightest star hitting a new record of 445,000 tonnes, up an impressive 29% on last year.

Sometimes, New Zealand really does punch above our weight.