The world’s biggest wine producers

South Africa is one of the biggest wine producers and exporters in the world – but the relative affordability of our offerings means the country does not benefit as much financially as some of its counterparts.

This is according the latest data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), detailing reported and estimated data on the global wine industry in 2014.

Global wine production, excluding juice and musts, is expected to hit 279 million hectolitres (mhl) in 2014 – a decrease of 4.1% compared with 2013, according to the OIV.

One hectolitre represents 100 litres.

In 2013, the group recorded 291 mhl of wine produces, just short of the biggest wine production year in the last decade, 2004, when just under 300 mhl of wine was produced.

South Africa is listed as the 7th largest wine producer in the world, with an output of 11.3 mhl in 2014, sitting below Australia (12 mhl) and ahead of China (11.1 mha) and Germany (9.3 mha).

Having slipped to third position in 2013 (thanks to record crops from Spain and Italy), France regained its position as the world’s top wine producer in 2014, corking 46.6 mhl worth of wine last year.

Biggest wine producers (millions of hectolitres)

# Country 2013 production (mhl) 2014 production (mhl)
1 France 42.0 46.6
2 Italy 44.9 44.7
3 Spain 44.7 41.6
4 USA 22.0 22.3
5 Argentina 15.0 15.1
6 Australia 12.5 12.0
7 South Africa 11.0 11.3
8 China 11.7 11.1
9 Chile 12.8 10.5
10 Germany 8.3 9.3
Top wine producers
Top wine producers
Global wine production
Global wine production

Projections for global consumption in 2014 are estimated at around 240 million hectolitres, with data showing a transfer in wine consumption around the world.

According to OIV, today about 39% of the wine is consumed outside European countries, compared to 31% in 2000.

Consuming 30.7 mhl, the United States confirmed its position as the biggest global consumer, while France (27.9 mhl) and Italy (20.4 mhl), resumed their decline in consumption.

The level of consumption in China is estimated at 15.8 mhl: a reduction of 1.2 mhl compared to 2013.

Global wine consumption
Global wine consumption

Biggest vine coverage

According to the OIV, as of 2013, 7519 mha is “under vines” across the globe.

While this figure is decreasing – due to a reduction in European vineyards – the global production of grapes is increasing.

This is due to the increase in the planted surface areas in the rest of the world, most notably in China and South America. China, specifically, produces 15% of the world’s grapes.

It currently has the second largest vineyard area in the world at just under 800,000 hectares, below Spain which boasts 1.02 million hectares of vine land.

France has reduced its vineyard area to 792,000 hectares, followed by Italy (690,000 ha) and Turkey (502,000 ha).

With over 132,000 hectares of vine land, South Africa accounts for over a third of all vine area in Africa, and has the 14th largest vine area in the world.

# Country Vine area (thousands of hectares)
1 Spain 1 021
2 China 799
3 France 792
4 Italy 690
5 Turkey 502
6 USA 425
7 Argentina 227
8 Portugal 224
9 Iran 223
10 Chile 211
14 South Africa 132

Wine revenue

In 2014, the world wine trade continued to increase in terms of volume (104 million hectolitres, and increase of 2%) to reach a value of 26 billion Euros (R351 billion).

South African wine exports experienced a decline of 8.8% to an estimated 4.8 mhl in 2014, seeing the total revenue drop from 625 million Euros (R8.44 billion), to 594 million Euros (R8.02 billion).

Despite the drop, South Africa remains the 6th largest exporter of wines, according to OIV’s projected data, though cheaper wines place the country 11th, in terms of revenue.

Biggest wine exporters (estimates)

# Country 2014 exports (mhl) Revenue (EUR millions)
1 Spain 22.6 2 468
2 Italy 20.5 5 078
3 France 14.4 7 730
4 Chile 8.0 1 388
5 Australia 7.3 1 262
6 South Africa 4.8 594
7 USA 4.0 1 103
8 Germany 3.9 968
9 Portugal 2.9 730
10 Argentina 2.6 631

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The world’s biggest wine producers