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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 218, June 2022   
Vineyards, Wine and Consumption in 2021Vineyards, Wine and Consumption in 2021  Contents 
Issue 217, May 2022 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 219, Summer 2022

Vineyards, Wine and Consumption in 2021


 After a long period – indeed very long – of restrictions and social upheavals imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, conditions seem to finally allow us a certain recovery, both socially and in our habits. 2020 and 2021 have notoriously imposed very heavy restrictions on social and health conditions all over the world and which have also heavily affected the global economy. In this last sense, very hard times are still ahead, with really worrying conditions and which, by now, are no longer directly and solely attributable to the causes of the pandemic. In the past few months I have written several times about the economic results achieved by the Italian wine in the world, which – especially in 2021 – have been very positive, giving back, at least in part, some optimism in the future of producers. The enthusiasm has however and partly been cooled down by the results of 2022 which, due to the economic and production conditions of the first months of the year – not least, the current ones – such to make everyone expect a decidedly difficult year.


 

 Of course, wine is not only Italy and, although in our country the results of 2021 were very positive, it is also appropriate to consider the global situation of the world vineyard, in order to better understand the wine market in its entirety. The analysis of the vitivinicultural worldwide condition was recently conducted by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), which shows a substantial stalemate both in the production and in the consumption of wine. The study focused on 2021 only, the year during which the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were quite important – although recovering compared to 2020 – with significant restrictions in the sectors mainly affected by the sale of wine, such as restaurants and bar. Wine trade was therefore realized with sales made in direct distribution channels, such as wine shops, supermarkets and e-commerce. An almost obligatory choice, given the restrictions in the social order and which has forced people to stay at home.

 The research of the OIV, therefore, considers the worldwide situation of wine as a whole, derived from the result determined by all the wine producing countries of the world. The first figure emerging from this study, in 2021 the total area destined for the cultivation of vines – therefore, for vineyards – has substantially been stable with 7.32 million hectares, marking a decrease of -0.3% compared to 2020, a figure which is practically the same since 2017. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine believes this stagnation condition is due to the slowdown in the growth of Chinese vineyards. As far as the old world situation is concerned, the “European vineyard” – representing 46% of the world total – appears to be growing. The data include the areas of land destined to the production of wine and table grapes, musts and raisins, including young vineyards not yet productive. In this regard, it should be noted the decreasing trend in the area of land destined to vine cultivation began in 2004, reaching a stabilization in 2017.

 According to the OIV, Italy, France, China and Iran are leading the growth of the world vineyard, while important wine-growing countries in the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, all record a decrease in the area of land destined to viticulture, especially Argentina and South Africa. Among the other countries to mark a decrease in area we find the United States of America, Turkey and Moldova. The production of wine in 2021 was equal to 260 million hectoliters, with a decrease of 1% compared to 2020. If it is true the “world vineyard” is in slight decline, including wine production, what has recorded an increase –  albeit modest – is the consumption of wine in the world. In 2021, in fact, 236 million liters were consumed, representing an increase of 1% compared to 2020. In this regard, it should be noted in the past three years there have always been drops in consumption, therefore 2021 marks a recovery in this sense, albeit modest.

 In this regard, it should be noted – according to the OIV study – that 48% of the wine produced in the world is consumed within the European Union, despite a progressive decline in per capita consumption, since the beginning of the 2000s. Outside the European borders, there is a significant drop in consumption in China, falling below one liter per capita per year. The United States of America remain – also in 2021 – the main wine consumers in the world, pouring 33 million hectoliters into their glasses, followed by France, with 25, then Italy, with 24. The country where the highest annual per capita consumption of wine is recorded is Portugal – with 45 liters – followed by Italy, with 40, then France with 38. The lowest annual per capita wine consumption is recorded in all countries outside Europe and, specifically, in the last three places we find Japan – with 2.5 liters per year – then Brazil with just under two liters, finally China with just 0.7 liters per capita per year.

 Overall, 2021 was nevertheless a positive year for the global wine trade. Over the course of last year, the volume of exports stood at 111.6 million hectoliters, with an increase of +4% compared to 2020, a result which is the best ever. This increase was also recorded in terms of value, with an increase of +16% compared to 2020 and a total of 34.3 billion euros. The good result of exports is driven by bottled wine, in particular +6% compared to 2020 for still wines and +13% for sparkling wines, recording an increase in the volume of exports of +22% and +35% by value. The bulk wine market records an increase, compared to 2020, of +5% in terms of volume, however recording a -5% in terms of value. Regarding the market for the so-called Bag-in-Box, there was a significant drop of -8% in terms of volume and -1% in value.

 According to the OIV study, the main wine exporting countries are Spain, Italy and France which – alone – make up 54% of world exports, equal to 59.8 million hectoliters and 64% in terms of value. In the ranking of exports, Spain is in the first place with 23 million hectoliters, +14% compared to 2020 and 2.9 billion euros in value, with an increase of +10%. It then follows Italy with 22.2 million hectoliters, +7% and 7.1 billion euros in value, +13% compared to 2020. In third place we find France with 14.6 million hectoliters – with an increase of +8% – equal to 11.1 billion euros in value and +27% compared to 2020. As for imports, Germany, the United States of America and the United Kingdom make 38% of the total volume, equal to 42 million hectoliters, for a value of 13.1 billion euros. Finally, if we consider the results of imports, it is clear that 47% of the wine consumed in each country was produced abroad. In other words, one in two bottles poured into the glasses was imported. Wine, therefore, is confirmed to be an important product of the global economy, protagonist of the globalization of the market, a trend that has been occurring for several years now.

Antonello Biancalana



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 218, June 2022   
Vineyards, Wine and Consumption in 2021Vineyards, Wine and Consumption in 2021  Contents 
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