Weak worldwide harvests could lead to wine shortage - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Weak worldwide harvests could lead to wine shortage

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

The news this week that global wine production is dropping to its lowest level in 60 years is attracting attention.

What does that mean for consumers?  They might want to start stocking up.

Cheap wines are about to get more expensive and weak harvests around the world over the last year are to blame.  

"All of a sudden, the four biggest countries of production are down in quantity and that could have an impact," said Michael Quinlan with Table & Vine.

Those regions being Italy, France, Spain, and California, but South African wine lovers should prepare for price spikes too. 

Quinlan told Western Mass News when to expect the impact around here.

"I think we could see some price increases in the fall," Quinlan added.

Weather is the culprit.  European wine producers blame harsh hailstorms and frosts, while some California vineyards are destroyed after the 2017 wildfires and South Africa endured a difficult drought resulting in a less successful harvest. 

The shortage could cause wine prices from these areas to skyrocket and companies that offer lower prices will hurt the most. 

"Suddenly, a wine that was maybe selling for $15 or grapes that were going to a $15 wine may get bought by a guy who needs them for a $20 wine," Quinlan explained.

Not only does that mean that prices could go up, but the quality of the wine you're drinking could also be affected. 

"If you're a winery that makes a $20 wine, it's really good and then all of a sudden, there's competition for quality grapes because there's less quality grapes that can you hold your quality to the level your accustomed to," Quinlan noted.

Damaras Marmolejo from Springfield said that she'll still purchase her favorite wines despite higher prices.

"I mean I won't stop buying it, but I probably wouldn't buy as much," Marmolejo said.

Not all countries are suffering from poor harvests. Some could actually benefit from all this. 

"I think what we'll see is a few more offers from South America, just to try to accomplish certain price points Australia I think could make a comeback in the face of this," Quinlan said.

So should wine consumers start stocking up on their favorites? 

"The new harvest should hopefully save the day," Quinlan said.

However, if not, certain wine lovers should prepare themselves to pay a little more.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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