UK wine prices “will inevitably rise”, the trade body representing UK wine and spirit sellers has warned, after it emerged global wine production is set to fall to its lowest level since 1961.
Miles Beale, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said winemakers were facing a “drastically reduced harvest”, after figures from the Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) showed wine production in Spain, Italy and France will be hit this year due to extreme weather conditions such as spring frosts and summer heatwaves which hit Europe.
Wine producers have warned they are already facing problems from the devaluation in sterling, rising inflation and Brexit uncertainty, all of which have subsequently contributed to price hikes.
“Following frost and drought across Europe, and wildfires across the USA, winemakers globally are facing a drastically reduced harvest this year,” said Beale.
“It’s a keen reminder that wine production remains at the mercy of the weather. As the biggest per capita importer of wine in an international market, the UK is bound to feel the effects of an increasingly challenging environment.
“Prices for consumers will inevitably rise.”
Earlier this month, the WSTA also called for the chancellor to freeze duty alcohol following news it could be increased by 3.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, demand for sparkling wine shot up in the UK in the 12 months to March of this year as customers search for alternatives to champagne, including English wine.