Wildfires in Greece Contribute to Global Wine Crisis


Amidst the 2023 wildfires in Greece, the world saw a historic low in global wine consumption, plummeting to levels not seen since 1996. Production took a hit, dropping by 10%, following the world's most dismal grape harvest in 62 years, as highlighted in a recent report.

The Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) attributed this downturn primarily to 'extreme' climate shifts, such as droughts and wildfires, which have become increasingly prevalent. These 'extreme environmental conditions' pose a significant threat to the industry, overshadowing other factors like rising living costs, according to experts monitoring trade trends.

While countries like Australia and Italy experienced significant productivity losses of 26% and 23% respectively, Greece faced its own battle against devastating wildfires.

Last summer, Greece was besieged by a series of infernos that ravaged vast swathes of land. In July, as temperatures soared, wildfires tore through the island of Rhodes, trapping many British tourists and prompting widespread evacuations. Over 17,770 hectares of land were consumed by flames in just 10 days, with the scorching heatwave exacerbating already dry conditions, providing a conducive environment for the rapid spread of fires.

The report further revealed a decline in land allocated for grape cultivation, marking the third consecutive year of reduction. However, India's emergence as a top global grape producer offered a glimmer of hope amidst the industry's challenges.

In response to the crisis, governments took various measures, with France initiating vineyard pruning initiatives, aiming to mitigate the effects of reduced production.

Experts emphasised the need for comprehensive strategies to manage flammable landscapes and mitigate the impact of extreme weather events, highlighting the complex interplay between climate change and environmental factors driving the crisis.

(Source: Daily Mail UK)

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