Internal consumption is decreasing, exports will continue to grow but at a much lower rate than in the recent past, and production is slowly and steadily decreasing, also due to the effect of small and marginal vineyards that will be abandoned. The picture of European wine is anything but brilliant, designed by the EU Agriculture Commission in its recent “Agricoltural Outlook 2019-2030”, a forecasting tool with which we try to imagine the future. In detail, consumption in the EU, will continue its downward trend, at a rate of -0.4% per year, with which it is expected to reach a level of 25 liters per capita per year in 2030. A figure that may seem unimportant but is not, because it is the result of changes in wine consumption in countries like Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK, which together account for over 70% of wine consumption in the European Union. Which is, in turn, clearly the first market for EU wines, and accounts for 80% of total production. In particular, explains the report, the ones to be most affected by this drop in domestic consumption, will be red wines, whereas demand for rosé, sparkling wines, whites, and more in general of all those wines having a lower alcohol content, between the versatility of use and attention to health, will grow.
This should lead, explains the report, to an overall drop in the number of wines produced in the EU of -0.5% per year. At the same time, exports will continue to grow, but slowly. If in the last decade the growth rate has been +6.1% per year, in the next 10 years it will go in small steps, with an increase of +1% per year, which should lead, in 2030, to a total export of 26 million hectoliters, with growth driven by wines with denomination and sparkling wines. A combination that, according to the EU Commission, will lead to a decrease in the production of 0.5% per year, which will result in a loss of 155 million hectoliters of production, always taking into account, of course, the variables related to each vintage and climate. And the most delicate aspect of this decline will be the abandonment, probably definitive, of small vineyards, especially in “minor” areas for viticulture, where there will be no generational change. A worrying phenomenon, from which seem to be sheltered, instead, the most suitable areas and the most successful appellations, where, therefore, will be increasingly concentrated the production of wine in the EU.
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