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France holds on to top wine producer slot

Source: RFI Nov 18th

It looks as though France will keep its position as world’s leading wine producer, even though its overall production is down from last year.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), an intergovernmental organisation with 44 member states, estimates France’s 2010 output at 44.75 million hectolitres, a decrease of 2 per cent from last year.

That figure puts it just ahead of Italy, which saw an 11 percent drop in production this year. Italy was the biggest global producer in 2007 and 2008. Among the three largest European producers, only Spain has remained stable – with 35.1 million hectolitres of wine production.

Meanwhile, compared to 2009, world viniculture production in 2010 has fallen by 4 per cent to approximately 260 million hectolitres.

At a press conference on Tuesday, OIV head Federico Castelluci compared that kind of drastic drop to “if South Africa or Germany had produced nothing at all” in a given year.

The global area under vines is also continuing its downward trend.