World wine production is expected to fall to its lowest level in 60 years in 2023 and in Greece a significant decrease of 45 percent compared to 2022, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) has said.
This is due to poor harvests in the Southern Hemisphere and in some major European producers, including Greece.
Based on the information collected on twenty-nine countries, which account for 94 percent of the global production in 2022, world wine production (excluding juices and musts) in 2023 is estimated between 241.7 mhl and 246.6 mhl, with a mid-range estimate at 244.1 mhl . This represents a decrease of 7 percent compared to the already below-average volume of 2022, OIV said.
This would be the smallest production since 1961 (214 mhl), even lower than the historically small production volume of 2017 (248 mhl).
This negative scenario can be attributed to significant declines in major wine-producing countries in both Hemispheres.
“While in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and Brazil recorded year-over-year variations between -10 percent and -30 percent, in the Northern Hemisphere, Italy, Spain and Greece are the countries that suffered the most from bad climatic conditions during the growing season,” OIV said.
Only the USA and a few EU countries like Germany, Portugal and Romania, experienced favorable climatic conditions that resulted in average or above-average volumes.
Significant decrease in wine production in Greece
One of the countries that shows the largest negative variation with respect to 2022 is Greece, with an expected wine production in 2023 of 1.1 mhl. This volume represents a significant decrease not only from last year (-45 percent) but also from its last five-year average (-50 percent).
This can be attributed to the heavy rainfalls during spring which caused grape diseases (notably downy mildew) and to elevated temperatures and drought in summer months that strongly impacted the vines, OIV notes.
In early September, the Greek Winemakers Association’s leader, Yiannis Voyatzis said that wine production in 2023 is expected to drop by 30 percent, primarily attributed to the prevalence of downy mildew.
The landscape of Greek wine production is notably composed of numerous family-operated ventures, prioritizing quality-focused practices over intensive cultivation methods. With nearly 1,400 wineries sprawling across approximately sixty thousand cultivated hectares, the Greek wine industry thrives on its diverse indigenous varietals.
US wine production to increase
OIV expects Italian wine production to drop 12 percent to 44 mlh, its lowest level since the poor harvest of 2017.
The tumble means Italy will lose its position as the world’s largest wine producer, with France set to reclaim the number one spot for the first time in nine years.
Drought-hit Spain kept its position as the third largest wine producer despite its production set to fall to the lowest in the last 20 years, down 14 percent fall in output from last year and down 19 percent on the five-year average.
The sharp fall in Italian and Spanish production would lead to a 7 percent drop in EU output this year at 150 mhl, the third lowest production level since the beginning of the century.
US wine output, the world’s fourth largest, was expected at 25.2 mhl this year, an increase of 12 percent from 2022. Cool temperatures and heavy winter rains in the Napa and Sonoma regions brought much-needed moisture to the vines after several years of drought, the OIV said.