Around and Around the World of Wine
Certainly everyone is aware of the top wine producing countries around the world, or at least everyone with an interest in wine. When one thinks of wine, who does not think of France, or Italy, or California. Not surprisingly, the world's most famous wine regions may be found in many of these countries. That is certainly the case in France, Italy, and the United States. Spain in the #3 position probably comes as a bit of a surprise to some, especially those in the "new world". Outside of the EU, Spain's wine regions are less well known. As you move further down the list, of course, familiarity with the wines of a particular country declines.
It should not be a surprise that France, Italy, and the United States also rank as the top wine consuming countries ranked by total volume of consumption (see World Wide Wine Consumption below). France and Italy also have the the largest market share when it comes to wine exports. The United States, although a large producer of wine, is not nearly as large an exporter, only ranking 8th in the world in export market share (see World Wide Wine Exports below).
Well Traveled Wine Country
As one would imagine, the major wine regions in the top producing countries are well known through most of the world. Certainly the major French wine producing regions (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire, Rhone and many others) are very well known both within France and around the world.
This is also true, to a somewhat lesser degree, in Italy where the major regions of Tuscany and other parts of Italy are well known. For the United States, wine and California are practically synonymous and certainly California's major wine regions (Napa and Sonoma) are well known around the world.
Less Well Known Wine Country
While some French wine regions are less well known than others, they all are fairly well known both in France and beyond. Italy has many wine producing regions that would qualify a wine roads less traveled. A good example would be the wine of Sicily. Certainly Sicily has a long tradition of wine making dating back thousands of years, but it is only recently that Sicilian wine has managed to garner attention on the world stage - and that is probably mostly with individuals who are very knowledgeable of wine.
As you move further down the list of wine producing countries there is less awareness of the major wine regions on the world stage. Spanish wine regions are well known in Spain and probably in the EU, but are less well known in other parts of the world. For the United States, while wine and California are synonymous, most people outside of the U.S. are unaware of the excellent wine that is made in other states such as New York, Oregon, and Washington. Even within the United States these other states are less well known, and certainly you would be hard pressed to find someone with knowledge of the wine of other states such as Michigan.
A World of Opportunity
For individuals looking for new and uncharted territory, the world offers a myriad of possibilities to explore wine that infrequently or never catches the attention of a wide audience. Many wonderful and memorable wines will be found along the wine road less traveled. Wine enough to provide for a lifetime of exploration.
World Wide Wine Consumption
The top wine consuming countries around the world based on total consumption (not per capita) are:
World Wide Wine Exports
The top exporters of wine around the world based on export market share are:
- France (34.01%)
- Italy (18.03%)
- Australia (10.24%)
- Spain (9.18%)
- Chile (4.13%)
- Germany (3.25%)
- Portugal (3.17%)
- United States (3.00%)
- South Africa (2.90%)
- New Zealand (1.61%)