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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
1 Nov 2013

I know the media pounced on a recent report from Morgan Stanley claiming there is a global shortage of wine but no one should worry.

Their analysts concentrated on the sort of wine that is sold in bulk and put together some pretty misleading data. (Of course, wine production has fallen steadily since 2004; the EU has, thank goodness, been taking useful steps to pull up surplus low-quality vineyards and drain the wine lake that has plagued us for decades.)

The markets that are growing most vigorously, the US and China, are also growing as producers. If China needs wine, it is well able to switch vine planting into an even higher gear. China is already the world's sixth biggest grower of grapevines but has no shortage of available land.

Admittedly 2012 was a very short harvest in France, which tends to hog the headlines, and not generous in Spain. But OIV estimates suggest that the 2013 harvest will be much bigger almost everywhere - especially but not exclusively in Spain - and indeed may take us back to the 2006 level of production (which has been falling since then). Felix Salmon of Reuters unpicks it all skilfully in There's no global wine shortage and suggests that Morgan Stanley may have been more concerned to substantiate their backing of Australia's Treasury Wine Estates as an investment pick.

Panic not!

To examine the detail, see the OIV site here and then click on 'Download the state of conditions report'. All very interesting.

But see Wine - the affordable luxury for why we should not be too concerned about a modest rise in the price of basic to mid-market wine.