Just when you found a few good, cheap wines to rely on, they’re about to get way more expensive. According to data from the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine production was down this year to the lowest production levels seen since 1957.
According to Reuters, it’s the weather causing the problem. Three of the world’s top wine producers, Italy, France and Spain, were hit by harsh and unusual weather last year, like drought, hailstorms and late spring frost, leading to an overall drop of 14.6 percent in production.
The 2017 harvest only brought 25 billion liters of wine. That’s down from the 2015 harvest which produced 27.6 billion liters, and the 2016 harvest which brought 26.7 billion liters. The continent accounts for 65 percent of global wine production.
The OIV told the Independent that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a shortage of wine unless the weather conditions and poor harvest lasts “a few consecutive years.”
“We have to bear in mind that wine is a product that is stocked, meaning all the wine produced in a year is not or does not have to be consumed in the year of production,” an OIV spokesperson clarified.
But with output down and consumption rising, it’s hard for wine fans not to express some concern. Global wine consumption is at about 243 million hectoliters in 2017, a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year. (One hectoliter equates to 100 liters, which is the equivalent of 133 standard-sized bottles of wine.) Chinese wine consumption is also up, with an increase of 3.5 percent in the previous year.
U.S. wine production is still going strong, despite wildfires that destroyed or tainted some California vineyards. But that hasn’t made up for the problems in the E.U., nor has it stopped prices from rising significantly, reports CNN. Cheap wine could be affected the most since it’s not the kind that’s stockpiled. It’s usually drank in the first year or two.
“The wine companies that are targeting very low prices… will be hit the worst, because their margins are very low,” Stephen Rannekleiv, a global beverage strategist at Rabobank, told CNN. “When prices go up, it puts a lot of strain on them.”
Rannekleiv also said that the slump in the grape harvest could also mean less wine for other related goods. Brandy and vinegar makers could also feel the strain.