Liters of the Free World: The World’s Biggest Winemakers

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Does size really matter? We all know it’s not how big your barrel is, it’s the quality of what’s inside. However, there are a few things to be learned by comparing hectoliters.

France still produces the most and (arguably) the best wine, even though it’s smaller than Texas. Anyone who scraped through Statistics with a C- (like me) can tell you that correlation does not imply causation. In theory, a country like France could produce 44.6 million hectoliters of complete garbage wine. But in practice, that ain’t the way the grape grows.

The French make a ton of wine because they drink a ton, and they drink a ton because they love it more than life and cigarettes. If a country’s citizens cherish wine that much, it’s pretty safe to assume they’re going to need a lot of it and that they’re not drinking complete swill.

Seen this way, the amount of wine a country produces can actually tell you a lot. Take that, Stats.



Just like with soccer (football), the United States has the potential to mop the floor with the Old World, but they’re lacking the demand to make it happen.

In this case, the USA ain’t #1– not even close. And yes, that’s possible. However, the future is bright for American wine drinkers.

In 1980, US-made wine accounted for 5.1% of all the wine produced around the globe. In 2010, the US produced 8.4% of all the wine in the world. The point?

Uncle Sam is on his way up. And, if our assumption that the production of more wine directly correlates to the number of American wine drinkers and their enthusiasm for the stuff- the juice will only get better, too.

Don’t hold your breath on the World Cup though.



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