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Government policies and global competition that have contributed to regular fluctuation in the total global area under vines - wine vines, that is - have done little to upset France’s and Italy’s continued dominance in wine production. In 2014, France overtook Italy’s worldwide lead the year before, producing nearly 47 million hectoliters (4.6 billion liters) of wine.

  • The Wine Institute and the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) estimate that the globe surface area under vines is between 7.26 and 7.57 million hectares, an area roughly equivalent to the area of the Czech Republic. In 2014, just five countries—China, France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey—made up 50 percent of the world’s total vineyard area.
  • The EU’s Grubbing-Up program that ended in 2011 led to a reduction of vineyards in Europe that has only recently rebounded. 
  • The planted area in some countries, including Argentina, Chile, and China, has continued to increase in recent years. China emerged several years ago among the top 5 countries globally by total area under vines.

Despite the decreasing area under vines globally, grape production has trended upward since 2000 because of improved yields and more favorable climate conditions. Growers produced nearly 70 million tons of grapes in 2014. European vines alone yielded roughly 40 percent of all grapes produced in 2014, with Asia and the Americas accounting for 29 and 21 percent of global production, respectively. The resulting wine yield, however, from this global increase in grape production is disputed. 

  • According to the Wine Institute, total global wine production increased slightly from 27.9 to 28.2 million tons between 2013 and 2014. 
  • In contrast, the OIV reports a 7 percent decrease in production during the same period.

With top wine producers facing tough competition from American, Argentinian, Australian, Chilean, Chinese, and South African wine growers, growers will need to more closely than ever try to shape and monitor the flavor and marketing sensitivities of their consumers. Up for grabs are the 10.4 billion liters (as of 2014) of wine traded annually, a 2.5 percent increase from 2013. So, who are these consumers? The top producers are actually net exporters of wine, an unsurprising consequence of robust production. These net exporters, however, consume less wine than other countries that are net importers of wine, which includes China, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

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