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Vinisud 2016: Mediterranean vineyards No. 1 Producer and Exporter Globally

Posted: Monday, 07 March 2016 17:25


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Vinisud 2016: Mediterranean vineyards No. 1 Producer and Exporter Globally

March 07: More than ever before, Vinisud 2016 sits at the crossroads as the largest wine producing area on the planet. Around the Mediterranean, the main producer countries account for more than half of world production and 63% of global trade. Furthermore, these Mediterranean vineyards retain their role as influential trendsetters since rosé and sparkling wines, which attract a young clientele, are for the most part produced in the Mediterranean basin, writes Sommelier Rakesh Awaghade who was sent by Indian Wine Academy to visit the now Annual Fair

Click For Large ViewWhereas fifteen years ago, Old World vines were ridiculed, supposedly incapable of competing with New World production and its varietal wine ranges, in 2015, the figures speak for themselves. The Mediterranean vineyards remain the world’s leading production zone in terms of volume (53%), and especially of value. As OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) statistics show, the Mediterranean’s four main producer countries (France, Italy, Spain and Portugal) together account for 63% of global trade, posting overall revenue of 16 billion euros in 2014 from a total of 25.49 billion euros... way ahead of the New World wines which notched up 5.81 billion euros and 23% of global trade.

Click For Large ViewAn economic performance should not, however, mask the significant disparities between countries around the Mediterranean. Whereas for the past ten years, French exports have been stagnant in volume at around the 14-million hl mark, exports from Italy and Spain have accelerated strongly courtesy, in particular, of their bulk wines. However, France is catching up in terms of value.

Southern France wines- a new economic phenomenon

Key figure: exports up 59% in value over the past five years for Southern France wines.

Southern France vineyards have recorded spectacular performances, contrasting starkly with the stagnant exports seen from other regions.  Between 2010 & 2014, all the vineyards in Southern France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, South-West and Rhone Valley) saw export revenues grow by 59%, rising from 930 million euros in 2010 to 1.47 billion euros in 2014...and these have continued to rise over the first three quarters of 2015. This revenue is also reflected in higher-priced wine exports. The average price of a bottle of exported Provencal wine rosé from 2.98 euros in 2010 to 3.80 euros Click For Large Viewin 2014 (up 28%). The same applies to Rhone Valley wines whose price, over the same period, went up from 4.97 euros per bottle to 6.24 euros (up 25%). While PDO wines are commanding higher prices, the same is true of still wines with or without PGI status in the Languedoc-Roussillon and South-West regions. The average price of an exported bottle rosé from 2.04 euros in 2010 to 2.43 euros in 2014 (up 19%).

Rosé- the symbol of Mediterranean culture

Key figure: 76% of global rosé sales are generated by the Mediterranean vineyards

A survey conducted in partnership with theClick For Large View Provence Wine Council (Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins de Provence – CIVP) has highlighted the remarkable success of this new consumption trend. While Southern France vineyards lead the way for production and exports of French rosés, Spain, Italy and to a lesser extent Portugal enabled the Mediterranean to become the world’s leading rosé -producing region, with 66% of global output. They also constitute the main rosé export countries, having a combined 76% market share of the annual output of 9.8 million hectolitres. While Spain is clearly the leading exporter of rosé, this is in large due to its bulk wines intended for the production of aromatised wine-based aperitifs.

Looking beyond these market statistics, rosé is attracting a new type of consumer, one that as yet is not wholly convinced by the charms of still red and white wines. The survey of consumers, conducted by wine Intelligence, shows that young people (aged 18-24) are responsible for the increased commercial popularity of rosé in the main wine-drinking countries. According to the study, “the proportion of rosé relative to total still wine consumption is 10% higher, on average, in this age group.” Although less visible in French consumers, this trend is clearly evident in Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, USA, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Russia, Brazil and China). Moreover, in most of these countries, women drink more rosé than men.

Attracting a young, female public has always been one of the wine industry’s greatest challenges. Today, rosé se which has high export potential, is a real asset to Mediterranean vineyards.

Sparkling wine boom

Key figure: global consumption of sparkling wines up 30% between 2003 & 2013.

Click For Large ViewAnother type of wine widely embraced by consumers is sparkling wine. Italian Prosecco and Spanish cava, both inexpensive, are proving increasingly popular in all wine-drinking countries. According to OIV, global sparkling wine consumption has risen by 30% within just ten years, from 11.8 to 15.4 million hl. This is all the more impressive when set against an overall trend of stagnating wine consumption.

Though France remains the world’s leading producer of sparkling wines by both volume and value, we have seen a rise in popularity of Italian and Spanish varieties, the other main exporters alongside France. In addition, Eastern (Russia and Ukraine) and New World countries (USA, Australia and Argentina) are producing more and more, but exporting only a marginal proportion of their output.

Global production rosé by 40% between 2003 and 2013, from 12.5 to 17.6 million hl. And the three Mediterranean countries alone (France, Italy and Spain) account for 48% of this production.

Key figure: French sparkling wine exports up 87% in volume, excluding Champagne, between 2003 and 2013.

Although France remains the leader for this category of wines courtesy of its champagnes, sparkling wines from other regions are achieving spectacular growth in export volumes. In the space of ten years, sales of sparkling wines have increased from 42.6 million to 79.6 million bottles, a rise of 87%...growth that primarily benefits the Southern French vineyards.

For a few of the related earlier Articles on ViniSud, visit:

Vinisud 2016: Mecca for tasting unusual Mediterranean wines

Vinisud 2016: The Promise of a Great Vintage

Vinisud 2014: Best of the Best- Basso and Basset

Vinisud 2014: Passionately Mediterranean Wine Show

Vinisud 2014: An Indian in Pink Paradise of Provence

Vinisud: The Other Wine Expo of France

Taste Mediterranean at VINISUD 2012

Rakesh Awaghade

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