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Wine by the numbers
The harvest: There are more than 1 million wine producers in the world, producing about 2.8 billion cases of wine each year.
Changing tastes: Global wine production peaked in 2004 and continues to drop. In 2012, production declined to its lowest level in more than 40 years. Global consumption declined in 2010 but grew in 2011 and 2012.
Reason to whine? Data suggest there may be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years, when vintages from this year’s harvest will be released.
Europe’s share: In the past few years, production declines have continued in France, Spain and Italy, while U.S. production has increased.
Bottoms up: The French remain the largest consumers of wine, with Americans now a close second. The U.S. and China drive consumption growth globally.
Source: Morgan Stanley
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Two-EE’s Winery doesn’t foresee a shortage, but high demand has left it low on dry red wine.

Wine shortage predictions don’t bother Huntington winery

Wine lovers may cry in their Chianti over a wine shortage prediction.

A Morgan Stanley report released recently said worldwide wine demand exceeded supply by nearly 300 million cases last year.

The study blamed the shortfall – the greatest in 40 years – on bad weather and fewer vineyards.

It also says there may not be enough wine in future years.

Not so with domestic vintages.

“I’ve heard about the shortage report, but production in United States is up,” said Michael Kaiser, a spokesman for WineAmerica, also known as the National Association of American Wineries in Washington, D.C.

“There has been a decrease in production in major foreign countries – Spain, France and Italy,” he said.

The increase in domestic production will more than offset shortages from other parts of the world, Kaiser said.

“If you buy a bottle of French wine, you might see some of those prices creep up a little, for example,” he said.

U.S. wine sales from all production sources in 2012 increased 2 percent from the previous year to 360.1 million cases, a retail value of $34.6 billion, according to data from the Wine Institute of San Francisco.

That’s why Two-EE’s Winery co-owner Eric Harris isn’t worried, despite just having opened his establishment in May.

“I don’t think the (shortage) report is very well-founded,” said Harris, whose Huntington business gets its grapes from a grower in northern California.

“We are running out of a lot of dry red wine, but that’s because we didn’t anticipate we’d sell as much as we have. Our grower had a great harvest.”

Wineries elsewhere in the country say the same.

“I can’t say we’ve felt any shortage,” said Mulan Chan-Randel, who buys Rhone varietals and wines from the south of France for K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco.

“We definitely felt an increase in consumption, especially with millennials,” he said. “But we’ve been able to keep up.”

Analysts say wine production has actually increased significantly and that consumption is stabilizing. California’s harvest is expected to reach 4 million tons, nearing last year’s record.

Wine experts in California and throughout the world argue that the industry is in fine shape and that much of the reduced production has been intentional because of a wine glut.

pwyche@jg.net

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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