Less Wine and Price Hikes? Bad Weather Hurts Global Wine Production

Who wouldn’t love to sit back in a comfy easy-chair at the end of a busy workday, dedicating a bit of time to a glass of fine wine and a few hands of River Belle online blackjack? Well, expect it to be a bit more costly in the near future – and not the blackjack part. According to reports flowing from all parts of the world, we can expect wine to be more expensive in the coming months. And wineries are not the ones to blame, it’s the bad weather.

According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the global production of this wonderful nectar has decreased by 8% year-on-year in 2017, to about 247 million hectolitres. A hectolitre of wine represents 133 standard bottles – the decrease, thus, translates to about 2.9 billion fewer bottles hitting the shelves this year. This is the worst global harvest the world of wine has seen since 1961, the producer group says.

The reason for this massive decline is not some massive infestation by a parasite, like the Great French Wine Blight was in the mid-19th century, but the weather. Last year, the most important wine producing areas in Europe were hit by both heat and cold, significantly reducing their output. This “annus horribilis” has hit the wineries of France, Italy, and Spain, the OIV says. The news is significantly worse for fans of chianti and prosecco, with Italy’s wine production being hit the hardest. According to the OIV, the wine production in Italy has decreased by almost a quarter compared to the previous year. But some areas of France were hit even harder – the Bordeaux wine council has predicted its harvest to be up to 40% lower than in the previous year due to a cold spell that hit the area, with some chateaus losing as much as 80 to 90 percent of their production.

And a lower production usually translates in higher prices for the end-user. As the wines produced in 2017 start to hit the market, we’ll start to notice the price changes, especially in the case of higher-volume, lower-price varieties. “Prices for things like pinot grigio or generic Spanish reds will rise by between 10% and 30%,” Dan Jago, chief executive of high end wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd told The Guardian earlier this year, “and it’s [a question of] how much of that retailers will pass on. Prosecco was very hard hit by frost, so there will be less of it and the price will go up.”

The only upside of this situation is that the quality of the wine will probably be better this year.

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