Findings From New Database Focus on Global Varietal Trends


Global warming, consumer tastes and Old World versus New World philosophy have all played a part in the popularity of certain varietals with vignerons over the past 10 years, according to a study titled “Changing Varietal Distinctiveness of the World's Wine Regions: Evidence from a New Global Database” by Kym Anderson.
Anderson's study was published in the latest edition of the “Journal of Wine Economics”. 
“This paper draws on a newly compiled global database to estimate several indicators that capture changes over the first decade of the twenty-first century in the varietal mix of the world's wine regions,” Anderson wrote.
Her research describes the database, defines the method of processing the data, gives an “empirical picture of the changing varietal distinctiveness of the world's wine regions” and closes with ideas about how the database can be applied in other situations.
Anderson found that “varieties of French origin rose from 26% to 36%.” French varieties took home a 67 percent share of vineyards in the New World in 2010, up 14 percent from 2000.Old World wineries saw French varietals rise from 20 percent to 27 percent. 
Spain varietals held the second-largest share of the global grapevine area with a total percentage of 26 percent. Spain's presence in the world's vineyards dropped two percent from its 2000 numbers.
Italian varietals accounted for 13 percent of global grapevine area.
In a footnote below these statistics, Anderson notes that, in terms of actual number of varieties, Italy accounts for 328 of the world's 1,289 prime varieties.
Portugal follows Italy with 196 prime varieties, while France is third with 120 varieties and Spain is fourth with 88 varieties. Hungary, the United States and Croatia follow the top four with between 55 and 70 varieties each, Anderson wrote.
In terms of actual varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are first and second, respectively. The two wines jumped from eighth and seventh in 2000. Of particular interest is the rise of syrah from 2000 to 2010. The Australian favorite rose from 35th place to sixth place. 
Anderson's findings also included variety shares fro 1990. The data revealed that Turkey's sultaniye grape suffered tremendous losses in its global presence, dropping from fourth overall in 1990 to virtually non-existent in 2010. 
Her findings are based in a global wine database which includes information from 600 wine regions in 44 countries, as well as from more than 1,000 grape varietals. 
Her study, Anderson said, tackles an area of viticulture previously untapped by even the great wine books like “The World Atlas of Wine”.

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