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Varietal Distinctiveness of World’s Wine Regions: An Updated Empirical Picture Sourced from the research article: “Internationalization, Premiumization, and Diversity of the World’s Winegrape Varieties” (Journal of Wine Research, 2021) and subsequent related publications by the authors. Original language of the article: English.

This summarizes and updates an article originally published as Anderson and Nelgen (2021) which is based on a freely available revised global database and ebook (Anderson and Nelgen, 2020a; Anderson and Nelgen, 2020b).

Over the past three decades there have been dramatic changes to global wine markets. They include the continuing rapid decline in wine consumption in the world’s traditional wine-producing countries of Western Europe, the explosive growth in wine exports from temperate regions of New World countries, and the growth in wine demand in traditionally beer- and spirits-focused countries of northwest Europe and East Asia1 2. Those plus climate changes have prompted winegrowers to alter the mix of winegrape varieties in their vineyards, and also the locations of vineyards. To assist vignerons make future planting decisions, a global database showing which varieties are grown in the world’s various wine regions has been assembled and twice updated and expanded. The latest version3 4 provides regional snapshots for 2000, 2010 and 2016 for more than 800 wine-growing regions in 53 countries that account for 99 % of the world’s winegrape area, as well as a national snapshot for 1990. It has a number of improved features.

First, we have moved to the precise spelling of varieties according to their country of origin, and listed transliterated spellings among our synonyms, following Robinson, Harding and Vouillamoz (2012)5 or otherwise www.vivc.de. Second, we have homogenized the spelling across the years of names of within-country winegrape-growing regions. Where the degree of regional disaggregation varied through time, we now provide a table to show the regions within each super-region so that trends in the latter are more-easily discernible. We also provide a concordance between the names of regions as listed in the original national data source and the (sometimes more common) names of regions adopted in the Johnson and Robinson (2019)6 8th World Atlas of Wine. Third, we have introduced two new indexes of internationalization of varieties. One shows the extent to which various countries’ native winegrape varieties have been adopted abroad; the other shows the extent to which each nation’s varietal choice is focused on exotic (non-native) varieties.

One core finding is that the share of red varieties in the global bearing area rose from 46 % in 1990 to 56 % in 2016. As part of that, Cabernet Sauvignon’s global rank rose from 8th to 1st, and its global share plus that of Merlot and Syrah rose from 5 % to 17 % (Figure 1). Ironically, consumers have moved more toward white wines this century7, leading to a glut of red wine on global markets by 2023–24.

Figure 1. Shares of global bearing area of the top dozen varieties in 2016 compared with 1990 and 2000 (%).

Importantly, this latest version of the global database has a new set of tables focused on key climate variables of each of the world’s 800+ winegrape-growing regions. Based on the location (latitude and longitude) of the region’s main town, nine climate variables have been extracted by Gregory Jones for 1958–2019 records of its nearest weather station. Jones’ research over the past quarter-century has found that growing season average temperature (GST) is the best single indicator of viticultural relevance. His analysis determined that the world’s winegrape regions can be usefully divided into four climate classifications: ‘cold’, ‘temperate’, ‘warm’ and ‘hot’. After allocating each region to one of those four classifications, we have been able to determine the weighted average GST for each super-region (e.g. Bourgogne, made up of Côte-d'Or, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire and Yonne). We did so by using regional winegrape bearing areas as weights. Those same weights have allowed us to estimate the national and global shares of bearing area in each of our four climate classifications, with almost four-fifths of the bearing area corresponding to ‘warm’ and ‘hot’ climates (Table 1). Anderson and Nelgen (2020a; 2020b) also report that information by winegrape variety8 9.

Table 1. Shares of 2016 bearing areas under ‘cool’ (< 15 ℃), ‘temperate’ (15–19 ℃), ‘warm’ (17-19 ℃), and ‘hot’ (> 19 ℃) climates, area-weighted average growing season temperature (GST) for the top 20 countries, the New and Old Worlds, and the world as a whole.


Country

Cool

Temperate

Warm

Hot

GST (℃)

Area (‘000 ha)

Spain

0

12

8

80

19.5

884

France

5

42

42

12

17.6

815

Italy

1

2

20

77

19.6

605

United States

0

23

33

44

19.1

240

Argentina

0

0

21

79

20.6

206

Romania

0

0

100

0

17.7

183

Portugal

0

0

41

59

18.8

183

China

0

0

100

0

18.1

178

Chile

0

8

83

9

17.9

146

Australia

1

10

40

49

19.4

132

South Africa

0

0

3

97

21.0

96

Germany

51

49

0

0

15.0

95

Moldova

0

0

100

0

17.2

83

Hungary

0

85

15

0

16.7

64

Bulgaria

0

0

100

0

18.3

53

Greece

0

0

4

96

21.2

51

Russia

0

0

100

0

17.6

51

Georgia

0

100

0

0

16.6

48

Austria

13

87

0

0

15.5

45

New Zealand

10

89

1

0

15.7

35

New World

1

11

43

45

19.2

3373

Old World

3

21

32

44

18.5

1110

World

3

18

35

44

18.6

4483

In a follow-up study10, we employ principal component analysis (PCA) for data reduction of climate variables, and cluster analysis for grouping similar regions. This results in three clusters defining wine regions globally. The results show premium wine regions are found across each of the climate types. They also show that the climate has already changed across clusters. This suggests future climate change may threaten high-quality winegrape production in many regions.

Several other indicators capture changes over the first 16 years of this century. They include the varietal intensity index, which captures the degree of specialization of each region or nation in each variety; a varietal-based regional similarity index, which captures the degree of similarity of each region’s varietal mix with that of any other region (or of the nation or the world); and a varietal concentration index. Puga and Anderson (2023)11 summarize the extent of similarities and concentrations in the mixes of winegrape varieties across countries. We show by how much these mixes are becoming more or less similar and more or less concentrated. In doing so we develop a hierarchical clustering method based on the similarity index, which reveals considerable heterogeneity in the extent of similarities across countries. The concentration index suggests that if two different winegrape blocks are randomly chosen anywhere in the world, the probability of those winegrape blocks having the same variety is just 2.2 %. European countries do not seem to exhibit a larger degree of concentration than non-European countries, despite being subject to more planting regulations. We use these indexes to compare changes between 2000 and 2016, and conclude that the mix of winegrape varieties has become more similar across countries and more concentrated globally over that period. In doing so, many national mixes have become more concentrated on the most-popular French varieties. That has also made those mixes become more similar12. This does not, however, preclude the possibility that the mix of varieties could become less similar as between regions within any country – as indeed has been happening within Australia13 14.

Notes

  • Anderson, K., & Pinilla, V. (2018). Wine Globalization: A New Comparative History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (eds.). https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108131766
  • Anderson, K., & Pinilla, V. (2022). Wine’s Belated Globalization, 1845 to 2025. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 44(2): 742-765. https://doi.org/10.1002/aepp.13174
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020a). Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture (Revised Edition). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. Freely available as an e-book along with Excel files at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020b), Database of Regional, National and Global Winegrape Bearing Areas by Variety, 1960 to 2016, Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, June. Freely available at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Robinson, J., Harding, J. & Vouillamoz, J. (2012). Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including their Origins and Flavours. London: Allen Lane.
  • Johnson, H. & Robinson, J. (2019). World Atlas of Wine, 8th edition, London: Mitchell Beasley.
  • OIV (2023). Evolution of World Wine Production and Consumption by Colour, Dijon: OIV, November.
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020a). Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture (Revised Edition). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. Freely available as an e-book along with Excel files at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020b), Database of Regional, National and Global Winegrape Bearing Areas by Variety, 1960 to 2016, Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, June. Freely available at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Puga, G., Anderson, K., Jones, G., Doko Tchatoka, F., & Umberger, W. (2022). A Climatic Classification of the World’s Wine Regions. OENO One 56(1): 165-177. https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2022.56.2.4627
  • Puga, G., & Anderson, K. (2023). Similarities and Concentrations in the Mix of Winegrape Cultivars. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 74(1): 0740018. https://doi.org/10.5344/ajev.2023.22067
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2021). Internationalization, Premiumization, and Diversity of the World’s Winegrape Varieties. Journal of Wine Research 32(4): 247-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571264.2021.2012444
  • Anderson, K., & Puga, G. (2023a). Database of Australian Winegrape Vine Area, Price, Crush Volume and Value, and Per Hectare Yield and Value, by Region and Variety, 1956 to 2023. Adelaide: Wine Economics Research Centre. https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases
  • Anderson, K., & G. Puga, G. (2023b). Two Decades of Grape Variety Trends in Australian Wine Regions. Wine and Viticulture Journal 38(2): 65-72. Freely available at www.adelaide.edu.au/wine-econ/publications.

Authors


Kym Anderson

Affiliation : School of Economics and Public Policy and Executive Director of its Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia – Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Country : Australia


Signe Nelgen

Affiliation : Hochschule Geisenheim University, Geisenheim (at the time of writing the 2021 article)

Country : Germany


German Puga

Affiliation : University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre

Country : Australia

References

  • Anderson, K., & Pinilla, V. (2018). Wine Globalization: A New Comparative History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (eds.). https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108131766
  • Anderson, K., & Pinilla, V. (2022). Wine’s Belated Globalization, 1845 to 2025. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 44(2): 742-765. https://doi.org/10.1002/aepp.13174
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020a). Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture (Revised Edition). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. Freely available as an e-book along with Excel files at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2020b), Database of Regional, National and Global Winegrape Bearing Areas by Variety, 1960 to 2016, Wine Economics Research Centre, University of Adelaide, June. Freely available at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases.
  • Robinson, J., Harding, J. & Vouillamoz, J. (2012). Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including their Origins and Flavours. London: Allen Lane.
  • Johnson, H. & Robinson, J. (2019). World Atlas of Wine, 8th edition, London: Mitchell Beasley.
  • OIV (2023). Evolution of World Wine Production and Consumption by Colour, Dijon: OIV, November.
  • Puga, G., Anderson, K., Jones, G., Doko Tchatoka, F., & Umberger, W. (2022). A Climatic Classification of the World’s Wine Regions. OENO One 56(1): 165-177. https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2022.56.2.4627
  • Puga, G., & Anderson, K. (2023). Similarities and Concentrations in the Mix of Winegrape Cultivars. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 74(1): 0740018. https://doi.org/10.5344/ajev.2023.22067
  • Anderson, K., & Nelgen, S. (2021). Internationalization, Premiumization, and Diversity of the World’s Winegrape Varieties. Journal of Wine Research 32(4): 247-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571264.2021.2012444
  • Anderson, K., & Puga, G. (2023a). Database of Australian Winegrape Vine Area, Price, Crush Volume and Value, and Per Hectare Yield and Value, by Region and Variety, 1956 to 2023. Adelaide: Wine Economics Research Centre. https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/databases
  • Anderson, K., & G. Puga, G. (2023b). Two Decades of Grape Variety Trends in Australian Wine Regions. Wine and Viticulture Journal 38(2): 65-72. Freely available at https://economics.adelaide.edu.au/wine-economics/publications.

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