By Andy Young

China now has the world's second largest wine-growing area, while Australia still sits just outside the top 10.

According to figures released by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), China now has 799,000 hectares of wine-growing land, pushing it ahead of France's 792,000 hectares. Spain still has the most land devoted to wine-growing, with 1.02 million hectares.

Australia is 12th on the list, with 152,000 hectares of wine-growing land.

Despite its rapidly increasing land dedicated to growing, China is still lagging behind in wine production. OIV Director General Jean-Marie Aurand pointed out that much of China's surge into wine production has taken place over the last two to three years, and vines often take four to five years to start producing.

Good conditions in France saw the country top the wine production table, with 46.7 million hectolitres of wine. Less favourable weather conditions in Italy saw it drop to second on 44.7 million hectolitres, which was a drop of 17 per cent on the previous year's production. And despite having the most land dedicated to wine growing, again poor weather conditions hit Spain, which saw a nine per cent drop to 41.6 million hectolitres. 

Australia came sixth on the OIV's production after the US and Argentina. Australia saw a four per cent drop with production down to 12 million hectolitres.

The OIV also reported that the US is still the world's largest consumer of wine at 30.7 million hectolitres. Overall, global consumption was down slightly at 240 million hectolitres last year, from 242 million hectolitres in 2013.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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