Wine grapes are more scarce than they’ve been in half a century. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, worldwide wine production fell by 8 percent in 2017, making it the worst wine shortage in 50 years.
The slowdown is near universal. VinePair recently reported that Europe is experiencing its worst grape harvest since 1982. The continent, which is home to the three largest wine producers in the world, Italy, Spain, and France, is expected to yield only 14.5 billion liters of wine, a 14 percent decrease from 2016. Brutal frost and hail damaged much of the grape supply during the spring, and drought exacerbated the already struggling grapes this summer. The dearth of grapes in Europe and the wildfires in California are having a ripple effect on the wine supply worldwide.
“This drop is consecutive to climate hazards, which affected the main producing countries, particularly in Europe,” the Paris-based OIV said in a statement, according to Yahoo News.
The laws of supply and demand dictate that when the supply of a commodity is low, and the demand for that commodity is high, then prices increase. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the wine world. A scarcity of grapes has led to a smaller supply of wine, and in turn higher prices.
Demand for wine has remained constant since 2016, and it’s unclear whether all wine will become prohibitively expensive. Nevertheless, the massive reduction in wine supply can’t be good news for cash-strapped, millennial wine enthusiasts.