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Spanish and Italian Winemakers in Trouble After Catastrophic Harvest

Following a catastrophic harvest, Spanish and Italian winemakers are finding themselves in difficult positions, shaking up the balance of power within the industry.
This shift comes at a time when global wine production has plummeted to a six-decade low due to climate change, coinciding with a decrease in demand. Meanwhile, China has made its entry into the international market.

"The usual 15,000 bottles are down to just half that number after last year's 'catastrophic' harvest," explained Jordi Ustrell, manager of the Celler Devinssi winery in Spain, amidst completely dried up vine rows. Located in the town of Gratallops, known for its high-quality wines and part of Catalonia's Tarragona province, this small winery, established 24 years ago, is one of the 28 local wineries lobbying the municipality for irrigation funding.

However, it's not just Spanish winemakers who are struggling. Globally, wine production dropped by 7% last year compared to an already weak previous year and is expected to hit the lowest level since 1961 (when 214 million hectoliters were produced) - according to a summary by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), which collects data from 29 countries accounting for 94% of the world's wine production.

Forecasts indicate a 14% decrease in wine production in Spain and a 12% decrease in Italy, while production in France is expected to stagnate. Consequently, after nine years, France has reclaimed its position as the world's largest market player from Italy, with Spain maintaining its third-place ranking.

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