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  • Julia Harding MW
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  • Julia Harding MW
11 Dec 2017

What an achievement, what perseverance, and what generosity. 

Master of global wine statistics and leading wine economist Professor Kym Anderson of the University of Adelaide has been hard at work, along with his industrious collaborators Vicente Pinilla, Signe Nelgen and A J Holmes, digging up deeply buried but fascinating historical and current information on the global wine market. 

Professor Anderson gave Jancis and me a sneak preview of some of the material in case it was of use to us in preparing next edition of the World Atlas of Wine (due out late 2019 but the soil is already under our fingernails). Some academics are fiercely protective of their work, Professor Anderson is unusually generous.

The statistical companion (number 2 below) is a mine of information for anyone who wants a historical perspective on diverse topics such as vineyard areas, consumption taxes, bilateral trade, and even British wine imports back to the 14th century. But it is also remarkably up to date and comprehensive – if you have ever wanted to find out recent production or consumption figures, you will know how long it takes to find the information for individual countries and how inconsistent such data are in their recency. (I could bore you with tales of hours spent chasing vineyard/variety information for Wine Grapes and The Oxford Companion to Wine.)

There are three new publications, the third still in press. The first two are free if you are happy with electronic versions and the third is well worth buying.

1 Recently published is a freely downloadable annual database (a 17Mb Excel file) that covers the global wine market back to 1835, assembled with the intention of learning more about wine's globalisation.

Anderson, K. and V. Pinilla (with the assistance of A J Holmes) (2017),  Annual Database of Global Wine Markets, 1835 to 2016, Wine Economics Research Centre. You can download the pdf here: It will soon be available in paperback form (AU$66 plus postage).

2 Using this historical data as well as the latest available data, they have updated their statistical compendium both backwards to 1869 and forwards to 2016. The 2011 edition covered global markets 1961 to 2009 so this is a massively revised new edition:

Anderson, K., S, Nelgen and V. Pinilla (2017),Global Wine Markets, 1860 to 2016: A Statistical Compendium,Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press, 2017. Also freely available as an e-book at The paperback version (AU$77 plus postage) will be released shortly.

3 As if that were not enough, Anderson and Pinilla are the editors of a historical volume, based on the information in the works above, that is being published by Cambridge University Press. It will be  available in the US from mid January and in the UK some time in February.

Anderson, K. and V. Pinilla (eds.) (2018), Wine Globalization: A New Comparative History, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Professor Anderson explains the work involved and the improvements they have made in what has just been published:

'This annual database from 1835 [number 1 above] is unique. It has taken more than two years to pull together, with authors of our CUP book [number 3] extracting data from dusty shelves of national libraries in addition to us using whatever international sources were available for minor countries. Then we had to interpolate where there were missing values (a common practice of quantitative historians apparently) so as to be able to estimate global totals and thereby get national shares of global markets. Apart from its 39 core tables, the rest of the 98 tables are derivatives based on those core variables. Those derivative variables are the most useful for making comparisons across countries (eg per capita, per $ of GDP), together with various indexes such as the index of wine comparative advantage (the share of wine in merchandise export value of a nation divided by that share for the world). Our CUP book has close to 200 charts and tables based on these data.

'To make the database more accessible, these data are being tabulated in a new version of our Global Wine Markets statistical compendium [number 2 above]. Its 300 tables/500+ pages go well beyond our 2011 Compendium: apart from updating to 2016, we backdate to 1860 by providing decadal averages in Part III. We also include a lot more variables in this book than in the Annual Database. Parts IV and V, for example, provide bilateral trade volume and value data by type (bulk, bottle still, sparkling) in addition to the totals, and Parts VII, VIII and IX provide a great deal of data on volumes and values of consumption of the various alcoholic and soft drink beverages. The number of countries (47, plus 5 residual regions to make up the rest of the world) is the same as in the historical Annual Database, and in our economic model of the world's wine markets.'

Professor Anderson's earlier work focusing on grape varieties, Which Winegrapes are Grown Where? (University of Adelaide Press, 2013) is also available from Amazon.