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France reclaims top spot as biggest wine-producing country in the world

Students inspect glasses of wine during an oenology lesson at the Institut Paul Bocuse, in a 19th century chateau, in Ecully near Lyon, December 3, 2013. The Institut Paul Bocuse, created by French chef Paul Bocuse in 2004, trains students in every aspect of the culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management, on the path to Excellence. The cooking school welcomes 450 students from 37 countries each year for a unique immersion in French gastronomic heritage. Picture taken December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE - Tags: FOOD SOCIETY EDUCATION) - RTX17SYA
Reuters/Robert Pratta
Yup, it’s wine alright.
By Kabir Chibber
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Global wine production this year is expected to be 271 million hectoliters, a decline of 6% from last year,  according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), a trade group for the industry. In fact, wine production in 2014 is down in most places—except France.

The French reclaimed their top spot as the biggest wine producer in the world for the first time since 2011, and are on track to produce 46million hectoliters this year. Italy has been the biggest wine producer for the past few years, but saw production drop 15% this year, to 44 million hectoliters, after a poor harvest. Production in Spain, the US, and Chile also declined sharply. Argentina and Australia were pretty much flat.

The OIV blamed the global decline from last year on “significant climatic hazards, which are at the root of these developments, particularly in Europe.”

In the top 10, the only places to show increases (link in French) from last year besides France were South Africa, up 4%, and Germany, up a whopping 16% to almost 10 million hectoliters. Outside of the biggest wine producers, New Zealand had a record level of production, too.

With climate change ever more a determining factor in what wines taste like and where they can grow, oenophiles should consult Quartz’s guide to what the future of wines will look like—in short, more alcoholic and more far-flung.

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