The grape production industry, commonly referred to as viticulture, has always been considered to be an ever-evolving sector of the market considering the enormously growing wine production industry which depends heavily on it. However, the horrifying shift in the global warmth patterns has somewhat had an adverse effect on the grape growing regions.
The models analysing this change have suggested a reduction in the precipitation level in sub-tropical regions and an increase in rains in the northerly latitude regions. Therefore, there have been several changes in the grape producing regions in the past few years. Analysing the changes, this is a list of the largest grapes producing countries in the world in 2018.
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10. South Africa
In South Africa, the viticulture industry is witnessing a systematic change with enormous experimentations being carried out in the wine industry. Grape production usually takes place in South Africa in an area with a mild Mediterranean climate which is suitable for growing a wide range of noble vine varieties. According to a report of 2017, South Africa’s annual grape production in metric tons was recorded at 1,587,913.
Chile is considered to be the largest grower and exporter of fresh deciduous fruits in the Southern Hemisphere with over 230,000 hectares planted in orchards, including table grapes. Grape production occupies 36% of this area making the country one of the largest grape producers in the world. Chile is known for growing two varieties of grape, namely Vinifera Grapes and Table Grapes. As of 2017, the total annual grape production in Chile is estimated to be 2,122,775 (in metric tons).
Even though a full alcohol ban is imposed in the country of Iran, the wine industry continues to endure. Iran is ranked high on the lists of the largest production regions of fruits like pomegranate, dates, cherries, grapes, etc. The major high yielding grape production in Iran takes place in the Malayer region of the Hamadan Province. The Iranian grape production industry stats show that the total share of non-renewable energy used totals up to an estimated 61%. Standing one spot above Chile in the grape production rankings, Iran’s annual grape production, in terms of metric tons, was recorded at an estimated 2,298,413 as of April 2017.
Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wines in the world. Argentina has been in the wine production industry for a significant period of time, first emerging with its unique variety of high yielding pink skin grapes, Cereza and Criolla Chica. The Pedro Gimenez grape is considered to be the country’s widest grown wide grape variety as its crops take up approximately 36,000 hectares of the land. The grape is used for producing full-bodied wines and is one of the major supplies for the country’s wine production industry. As of 2017, the Argentine grape production industry is believed to produce an estimated 2,519,678 (metric tons) annually.
Turkey is believed to have an extensive variety indigenous grape varieties (600 to 1200) out of which only 60 are commercially grown. Approximately, 3.6 million tons of grapes are produced in an area spreading up to 480,000 hectares. The major grape production of the country takes place in the Aegean and the Mediterranean regions (61%). As of 2017, the country recorded an annual grape production level of 3,763,544 in terms of metric tons, leaving Argentina far behind.
China has been a major producer of grape for the past 2000 years and has even been declared the leading grape-producing country in the world in the past. The Xianghuan village is evident of the developing agriculture sector of the country as it has adopted modern technological methods to make itself a national high-quality grape production base. In 2016, the grape production levels recorded from this base showed comprehensive results with the exact reading being 2,600 tons. As of 2017, the grape production sector of China has recorded annual grape production level of an estimated value of 5,212,322 (in metric tons).
With over 2.9 million acres of land planted, Spain is the most popularly known wine producing nation in the world. Spain bears an extensive variety of grapes (almost 600) out of which only 20 varieties are used for the production of wine. Airen is the country’s most planted variety and is common throughout Central Spain. This grape variety is used in the production of full-bodied wines bearing a high level of alcohol. With recent developments in the grape production industry of the country which includes blending international varieties and adopting modern technologies, the annual grape production level was recorded at an estimated 5,676,985 in 2017.
3. United States
The grape production industry has a significant standing in the American Economy as nearly one million hectares of land is utilised by grape bearing crops (table grapes, etc.), that is, nearly 25,000 farms are growing grape crops. Grape is considered to be highest value fruit crop in the US and is valued at a hefty value of $5 billion. The high grape production level is directly proportional to the country’s high wine sales totalling an amount of nearly $35 billion. The annual grape production of USA was recorded at a high value 6,206,228 (in metric tons) which makes up 10% of the world’s grape production.
France is one of the largest wine producers in the world with a high production level of nearly 35 hectoliters per annum. Known for the extensive grape varieties, France has been a significant part of the grape and wine production industry for a long period of time. The commonly found French grape varieties include Merlot (taking up 116,715 hectares of land), and Grenache (97,171 hectares of land). However, with the drastic climate change, France expected the worst grape harvest season in 2017 since 1945 with an estimated fall by 18%. Despite the poor season, the annual grape production level of the country was recorded at 6,740,009 (metric tons) as of 2017.
Italy is the largest grapes producing country in the world by a considerably monumental margin. With its wine industry at its peak, Marche and Abruzzo are the regions which are popularly known for the production of White Verdicchio and Red Montepulciano grapes, respectively. The Sangiovese grape variety which is used in the production of full-bodied red wine is the most planted grape variety in Italy taking up nearly 72,000 hectares of land. Other majorly common grape varieties grown in the country include Trebbiano, Catarratto, Merlot, Chardonnay, Barbera, etc. Topping this list by a fair margin, the annual grape production level of Italy was recorded at 8,307,514 (metric tons) as of 2017.
The grape production industry, complementary to the wine production industry, has a significant role to play in the mechanism of the world economy. The countries mentioned in the above list have been ranked according to their annual grape production levels and their significance in the global grape production as of 2018.