The latest trends in the world’s wine market

At the Wine Paris event, Sopexa took the opportunity to present a study of over a thousand importers and traders about the seven most important wine markets. This study was conducted in order to better understand the impressions of professionals based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Belgium, China, Germany and Hong Kong about the future of the wine market.

Above all, the study concerned the most prominent producing countries in the range of wines commercialised across the world. And decidedly, the more traditional markets have held their own: France, Italy, and Spain remain leaders in the matter, with France on top, with wines from here mentioned by 89% of the professionals asked.

With all markets included, the most coveted viticultural regions for white wine are Marlborough (New Zealand) and the Loire, Languedoc, and Burgundy. In terms of red wine, Bordeaux (thanks to its popularity with the Chinese market), Languedoc, Burgundy, and the Rhône come out on top, making for a victorious French quartet!

Brexit: a wine market in transformation?

Responding to the question of how the markets might evolve over the next 2 years, these stakeholders are largely optimistic, particularly in the United States, Germany and Japan, where 58%, 52% and 49% of professionals respectively are expecting growth. Unsurprisingly, this is not the same story in the United Kingdom, where 44% of professionals have predicted that the market will decrease.

If taxes were to be imposed on European wines, wines from elsewhere will clearly be the biggest beneficiaries of Brexit, particularly wines from Chile, Argentina and Australia. According to this study, British professionals are expecting a strong increase in demand for wines from Mendoza, Beaujolais, Puglia, Languedoc, and Sicily. And this should be noted, since the UK market is often labelled as a population of wine-lovers with an eye for the next big thing!

A challenge for French wine

In terms of sales evolution from now to 2021, Italian wines are ahead. Whilst the Franco-Italian duo has always seen the best prospects in terms of progression, this isn’t so much the case for France in some markets, including Belgium, China, Hong Kong and the USA, where French wine’s popularity is slowing slightly.

Wine country par excellence

Having said this, the study shows that France still reigns supreme as the wine country par excellence in the eyes of the rest of the world. When all criteria are considered, France still has the best image, whether this be for special occasions, organic production, or in the consideration of climate change. It’s also still seen as the benchmark for learning about wine and serves as an essential point of comparison for other wine. However, there are two other aspects that are more associated with Australia and Italy, these being innovation and ability to attract younger wine-drinkers. According to the study, these two countries share first place in terms of production that is more adapted to the tastes of tomorrow.

As for consumer expectations, the wave of organic and biodynamic wine looms large: for 42% of professionals asked, this is the most promising category. The success of these wines is expected most of all in the UK and the US, though China seems to be avoiding this trend.