Just The Facts

France, Italy and Spain: Still Wine Kings?

How do the three countries compare on consumption and exports of wine?

Takeaways


  • It may come as a surprise to many that France is not the world’s leading consumer of wine.
  • People in France consumed 27 million hectoliters (hl) of wine in 2016, second only to the United States.
  • Spain, France and Italy collectively accounted for 55.3% of global wine exports in 2016.

1. It may come as a surprise to many that France is not the world’s leading consumer of wine by absolute volume, given wine’s cultural association with France.

2. France was in the global lead on wine consumption until 2012, but now ranks in second place.

3. People in France consumed 27 million hectoliters (hl) of wine in 2016, second only to the United States’s 31.8 million hl.

4. Although that represents a sizable volume – the equivalent of 1,080 Olympic-size, 50-meter long swimming pools at a two-meter depth – wine consumption in France has been declining for several years.

5. That is particularly evident with regard to per capita French wine consumption.

6. While second-ranked in the world, at 51.8 liters in 2015, that is down close to 30% from the 71.9 liter level consumed in 2000.

7. Italy, with a total wine consumption of 22.5 million hl in 2016, was the global runner-up behind France until 2009/10. It now ranks in third place.

8. Per capita wine consumption in Italy, also third-ranked in the world, was 41.5 liters in 2015.

9. That is down almost 35% from the 63.1-liter level reached in 2000.

10. Global export market leader Spain, along with France and Italy, collectively account for 55.3% of the global wine exports in 2016.

11. Spanish wine tends to find demand among less affluent buyers (and countries), particularly as non-bottled bulk imports.

12. In contrast, French and Italian wines tend to fetch a higher price than Spanish wines on the world market.

13. France has the third-largest land area in the world under cultivation for vineyards (785,000 hectares, or 3,030 square miles) after Spain and China.

14. Italy has the fourth-largest worldwide — and the third-largest in Europe (690,000 hectares, or 2,664 square miles).

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV)

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