Is Europe Facing a Wine Shortage?

Posted on by Kris


As reported by SFGate, French wine cooperative group Groupe Val d’Orbieu has stated that wine drinkers will soon face a shortage of mammoth proportions, around 1.3 billion bottles to be exact. I’m not too sure how they arrived at that number, but that’s what they say…

The “shortage” comes after a drop in production in Italy, France and Spain, and vineyards across Europe suffered damage from winter dryness, a cold start to the season, hailstorms and a summer heat wave this year.
Wine inventories in Italy and Spain were also depleted in the past two years, leaving no buffer to compensate for the slump in 2012 production,

It’s historic,” Bertrand Girard, CEO of Groupe Val d’Orbieu, said at a press conference in Paris. “We’re short of wine. We’ve never seen that in three or four decades.”

The global shortfall is expected to be at least 10 million hectoliters (264 million gallons). That volume equates to around 1 billion standard-size wine bottles. World production fell in the past decade even as consumption rose, according to data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, or OIV. The world’s vineyard area also shrunk in the past decade, falling to 7.59 million hectares (18.8 million acres) last year from 7.85 million hectares in 2000, according to the OIV.  

The main risk facing the industry is that a lack of wine in stores will prompt consumers to turn to other beverages such as beer,” Girard went on to say. “Spain has zero stocks,” he said. “Italy has zero stocks. We no longer have stocks to bridge the gap. We have no more entry-level wine.”

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My Thoughts…

Well it’s good to see that ol’ Bertrand Girard has faith in wine drinkers! i.e. thinking that they will switch to beer so quickly.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m in a wine mood, I’m in a wine mood. If wine is unavailable, then obviously I’ll switch to beer. If the price of wine is raised by a couple of $’s, then it’s no big deal, I’ll pay those couple of $’s. Then again, I’m a serious wine drinker (without that sounding like I’m an alcoholic).
I have to think this is the same thought by other wine drinkers, at least, the ones who generally drink wine from France, Spain and Italy. I tend to find that people who are fans of wine from these countries tend to be a little more “serious” about their wine drinking, and won’t be easily swayed to an alternate beverage by a so-called “wine shortage.”

Seriously though, I HIGHLY doubt we will see any serious shortages and I can’t say I’m too concerned. Much in the same way the French announced there would be a “Champagne shortage” for the millennium (which never transpired), I think this amounts to nothing more than misguided and unproductive propaganda.

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