According to France24 (28 March 2016)In 2015 France lost its status as the world’s top wine producer in terms of volume to Italy, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (Organisation Internationale de la vigne et du vin), a sign of changing habits and increasing global competition.
The last few years have been a rocky road for the French wine industry.
Despite France’s reputation for producing the world’s best wine, the country has lost out to both Italy and Spain in exports for the last eight years.
France lost out to Italy in 2011 in terms of production, then got back to top place in 2014. But in 2015 Italy fought back, producing 49 million hectolitres to France’s 47 million.
Changing domestic drinking habits can explain the drop in overall production in France.
According to daily newspaper Le Parisien, the French got through an average of 100 litres of wine per person in 1960. That figure had fallen to 42 litres in 2015.
There is no doubting that Italy produces some excellent wines and their reputation is enhanced by the emergence of previously little known wines from regions such as Puglia and Sicily.
In my view the pursuit of volume is not critical – few will shed tears from the bulk wines which were so often produced in wine areas in the south and the lowest-common-denominator wines from some of the worst co-operative cellars.