A Global Wine Shortage Is Coming, But There’s No Reason to Freak Out Yet

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The world is currently facing a disaster worse than a zombie apocalypse. There’s a global wine shortage on the horizon, and the world’s production of wine is expected to be the lowest in 50 years.

Climate change is getting most of the blame for this. Unseasonably warm weather in France made the grape vines sprout way too early this year. Those tiny, fragile little vine buds peeped up months early, and then a sudden week of cold weather in April killed most of them. The few grapes that are left are expected to produce some great wines, but stocks will be low, and they will be unbelievably expensive. Droughts in Spain and unseasonable weather in Italy mean production is down everywhere. (Warm winters have also been seriously damaging the ice wine industry. Ice wine is a dessert wine made by allowing grapes to freeze on the vines. An unseasonably warm winter means the grapes never freeze and just rot on the vine.)

All the major wine producers are having a terrible year at once.

France, Spain, and Italy are the top three major wine producers. It’s not uncommon for one of them to have a bad year. But now it’s happening in all of them at once. Italy’s production is down 29 percent from last year. France’s is down 19 percent. Spain’s is down 15 percent. This is expected to be the smallest production in 50 years.

Also, the California wildfires may have had a serious impact on the region’s wine industry. Much of the 2017 crop was already harvested, but damage from the smoke and fires could cause problems in future.  There will be serious economic ramifications for the people who make their livings in the California wine industry.

This is going to have a huge effect on wine producers. There’s no need for consumers to freak out, though. We’ll all still be able to get wine, we just might be switching from French wine to domestic bottles as prices on European wines increase. Also, Australia is having a pretty good wine year, though. And Argentina’s having a fantastic year for wine production.

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(Image: iStockPhoto / alex_ugalek)