Best get to sippin’ while the sippin’ is good.
Winemakers are sounding the alarm on an impending global wine shortage as supplies are anticipated to have fallen to record lows in 2021, due to increasingly brutal weather, particularly in Europe’s wine-producing regions.
Bad weather has already “severely impacted” wine production in Italy, Spain and France, according to a statement by the International Organization of Vine and Wine on Thursday, which has resulted in “extremely low” product volumes.
Meanwhile, vintners fear a projection that wine sales will meanwhile return to high, pre-pandemic levels — and they won’t be able to supply the renewed demand.
“We still expect the global consumption to increase compared to 2020,” said OIV’s director general Pau Roca during a recent press conference, reported by Reuters as well as Agence France-Presse.
The report is based on data collected from 28 winemaking nations, which together represent 85% of world production last year. Production in 2021 is estimated to settle out around 250.3 million hectoliters, where 1 hectolitre corresponds to about 133 bottles.
Throughout the European Union alone, production is projected to fall to 145 mhl, a drop of 13% from last year, the OIV said.
This could be the third year in a row of lagging output, they said, approaching one of the lowest years in recent history, 2017, which saw just 248 mhl produced.
Despite the fact that new regions have entered the market as of late — particularly throughout the Southern Hemisphere, such as New Zealand — they won’t outpace the drop in production throughout the traditional regions in Europe, the OIV said.
Wineries that survived COVID-19 in 2020 are now “confronting a much greater problem than the pandemic: climate change,” said Roca, who fears the adverse weather conditions to come.
“There is no vaccine” for climate change, he said during the meeting. “There are long-term solutions, which will require major efforts in terms of sustainable practices for cultivating vines and producing wine.”
Adaptation to a warming planet is an “urgent necessity” for the industry to survive, Roca added.
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