A report predicts Spain will produce more wine than France by 2015.
The report, commissioned on behalf of the Vignerons Independents (France’s independent winemakers’ association), says French production is expected to drop from the 2000-04 annual average of 52.8 million hectoliters to 43.9 million hls.
Italy, at 60 million hl per year, is the biggest producer of wine in the world, followed by France and Spain at 45 million hl each (on average) in the last decade.
Falling production levels have been attributed to France’s reluctance to adapt to new trends and new types of consumers, according to Decanter.
Traditionally, France has been the largest consumer of its own wines, but dropping domestic consumption means it has had to look to foreign markets to bolster sales.
Eric Rosaz, President of Vignerons Independants, said producers have made strides in making their wine more accessible, but more needs to be done. “We have problems in terms of dynamism,” he said.
In 2005, total French production was just over 53 million hl, of which Bordeaux and Champagne made up almost 20 percent.
While 2007 figures show France’s wine and spirit industry exported $15 billion in product, there are concerns that this performance hides the real issues.
For the first time last year, sales of American wines in the United Kingdom overtook French wine sales.
The U.S. is now selling and drinking more bottles than anywhere in the world, meaning France no longer is the world’s biggest wine market.