Global factors could mean you end up forking out more at the bottlo
Global factors could mean you end up forking out more at the bottlo Erle Levey

Price of wine set to soar

Global wine output is heading for an an almost 20-year low as "climatic events" including El Nino severely hit grape production in many countries.

Argentina is set to report wine production plummeted by more than a third this year - news that will worry fans of malbec, while Chile is on course for a 21 per cent drop. Brazil, less well-known for its wine, will see its output cut in half, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). 

The El Nino weather phenomenon brought heavy rains and frost to the region, decimating grape harvests. Elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa's production will be down almost a fifth, but Australia has held steady. 

It remains to be seen if the increase in global prices impacts the domestic Australian market as growers chase as growers chase improved prices elsewhere. 

"Some price tensions could appear in some geographic areas impacted by [bad weather]," an OIV spokesperson told the BBC.

France endured its own severe whether with frosts and hailstorms in spring followed by a drought over the summer, resulting in 12 per cent less wine and meaning Italy remains untroubled for its crown as the world's largest wine producer. 

"The El Nino climate phenomenon seems to be back in Latin America, where production was affected by fairly exceptional weather, with lots of rain," said IOV's CEO Jean-Marie Aurand.

"Output was greatly affected by exceptional weather conditions. If there is one product that is vulnerable to weather events, it's wine."

Global warming and freak weather conditions increasingly affect global wine production. Scientists have shown that each degree Celsius of warming brings harvests forward by six or seven days, meaning that as temperatures rise grapes will become unsuitable for their traditional regions.

While vineyard owners in Chianti, Italy are ruing that their local grapes now ripen too early, the warmer summers have helped England produce award-winning sparkling wine in recent years. 

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director of English Wine Producers, said: "Overall, 2016 is looking to be a fantastic vintage for the UK.

"We haven't experienced any dramatic weather patterns such as seen in other parts of Europe and have had the benefit of some great summer and early autumn weather just when our grapes need it."

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