By Rebecca Gibb | WINE SEARCHER | Posted Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014
A new database of grape plantings documents a rapidly changing wine world.
Airen, grenache and rkatsiteli were the world’s most widely planted grape varieties 20 years ago, but mighty cabernet sauvignon and merlot have since knocked them from their top slots.
That’s just one of the findings released by the University of Adelaide, Australia, which has published what they’re calling the first database of the world’s wine grapes and regions. Compiled over the past year using statistics from more than 500 regions in 44 countries, with information on 1,271 varieties, the database covers 99% of global wine production, its authors claim.
Former front-runner airen « was a pretty forgettable grape in Spain that went out of popularity, » Professor Kym Anderson told Wine-Searcher. « People just ripped it out, especially when there were subsidies for vine pull, and replaced them, mostly with reds. » While airen remains the most-planted grape variety in Spain, covering nearly a quarter of the country’s vineyards in 2010, its share has fallen by 8% — nearly 140,000 hectares — in the last decade. (suite…)