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World faces wine shortage after bad weather squeezes European harvest

October 30, 2013|By David Pierson
  • China and the United States are the biggest drivers of wine consumption growth. But production has dropped in Old World regions such as France.
China and the United States are the biggest drivers of wine consumption… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

It may not be as painful to the global economy as a shock to oil supplies, but it sure will feel that way to many: The world is facing a shortage of wine.

Global production has dipped to its lowest level in over 40 years, largely after poor weather ravaged European vineyards, according to a report by Morgan Stanley released this week.

“After adjusting for non-wine uses, demand for wine exceeded supply by 300 [million] cases in 2012, the deepest shortfall in over 40 years of records,” the report said.

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Prices will probably rise in the coming years when the 2012 vintage matures for consumption. That will be exacerbated by robust demand from the two fastest growing markets, the U.S. and China.

"Global area under vine has continued its steady decline, driven by vine pull in the Old World and minimal new plantings in the New World," the report said. "China is the only country consistently expanding its vineyard footprint with an average growth rate of 5.3% over the past three years, although data from OIV is total table grapes, grapes for winemaking are estimated to be a much smaller percentage of the total."


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