Spain’s wine industry is unlike any other in the world. Though it has historically fallen behind France and Italy in popularity and prestige, data acquired from UN Comtrade shows that in 2019, Spanish wine producers exported nearly the same amount of wine as the other two industry-leading countries. Around 2.1 billion liters of Spanish wine were sent around the globe, which were valued at just over $3 billion. Italy also exported 2.1 billion liters of wine in 2019, but the total value was more than double that of Spain’s exports, clocking in at $7.2 billion. France exported just over 3 billion liters of wine with a value of nearly $11 billion. So why is Spanish wine so undervalued? The answer lies in bulk wine. Roughly a quarter of Spain’s wine exports are sent to France, where the country’s cheaply grown, high-yielding grapes are either turned into table wine or are blended and re-exported.
Bulk wine aside, most of Spain’s quality wine stays within Europe. Unlike French wine and Italian wine, of which the United States is a top importer, Germany leads the way in consuming Spanish specialities like Rioja, Albariño, and Cava.
In 2019, Germany imported $375 million worth of Spanish wine. The United States was second, bringing in $330 million. The United Kingdom was third on the list, with wine enthusiasts consuming $325 worth of Spanish wine. China’s affinity for Spanish wine is also evident, as the nation sits sixth on the list ($143 billion). Outside Europe, Canada rounds out the top 10, importing $119 million worth of Spanish wine.
Read VinePair’s chart below for a breakdown of the countries that imported the most Spanish wine in 2019.