The World of Wine Report

When thinking of collectables for investment, many people will think of antiques, cars and artwork. But what if your favourite tipple could actually be a profitable investment?
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The World of Wine Report

The investment experts at have delved into the world of wine to find out everything from which countries are the biggest wine exporters, and how much wine is drunk per person per year, to the most Instagrammable vineyards and things to look out for if you’re considering investing in wine.

Use the sidebar to explore wine exports around the world and discover more about our World of Wine Report.

If you’re considering venturing into the world of investing, you might want to compare investment accounts. With any investment it’s important to remember that you are putting your capital at risk and you may get back less than you originally invested.

Which country exports the most wine?

We’ve taken data from the United Nations to show how wine has moved around the world in the past 25 years. You can explore the map to see where your country has been exporting wine to in both volume and value. Alternatively, you can use the tabs at the top to see an overview of the past 25 years or compare with other countries and years.

Likely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UN Comtrade data shows that global wine exports dropped by 43% year-on-year between 2019 and 2020. In 2019, over 7.7 billion litres of wine were exported around the world with a value of $35.7 billion. In 2020, these numbers had shrunk to 4.6 billion litres and $20.4 billion.

Over the past 25 years, France has reigned supreme when it comes to wine exports. On average, the French have exported 1.4 billion litres of wine a year, worth an incredible $7.9 billion.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the countries which have exported the most wine in the past 25 years are those most famous for their wine producing regions - France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile and the USA.

However, the UN Comtrade data shows the emergence of new wine producing countries too.

In 1995, UK wine exports had a trade value of $89.8 million. By 2020 this had increased to $685 million - a 663% increase. 

Lithuania has seen the largest increase in the trade value for wine. In 1995, Lithuania was exporting just $520,000 worth of wine to eight countries. In 2020, Lithuanian wine was being exported to 35 countries with a trade value of over $207 million. 

Wine consumption around the world

With so much wine moving around the world, we were keen to find out who was consuming it. Using data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) we can reveal how wine consumption has changed since 2000. 

How much wine is consumed globally each year? 

In 2020, global consumption of wine was 234 million hectolitres (mhl). The lowest level since 2002.

How many litres are there in a hectolitre?

There are 100 litres in a hectolitre. So in 2020, the world consumed 23,400,000,000 litres of wine.

1 hectolitre = 100 litres

1 litre = 100 centilitres (cl) or 1000 militres (ml)

Who consumes the most wine in the world?

In 2020, the USA consumed 33 mhl of wine - unchanged from 2019.

Who consumes the most wine in Europe?

In 2020, France saw a level of wine consumption that remained unchanged as compared to 2019, at 24.7 mhl.

How many bottles of wine did each country consume in 2020? 

Using data from the OIV on wine consumption in 2020, we calculated how many 75 cl bottles of wine this would equate to:

Number of bottles consumedper country

In 2020, the USA consumed the most bottles of wine in the world at 4.4 billion.

In Europe, France topped the list as the country which consumed the most bottles of wine in 2020 with the equivalent of 3.29 billion bottles drunk.

In the UK, we consumed the equivalent of 1.77 billion bottles of wine in 2020.

How many bottles of wine are consumed per person in the biggest wine drinking countries in the world?

Alongside the total number of bottles consumed within the biggest wine drinking countries in the world, we analysed consumption per capita data for these countries to find out how many bottles could be being consumed per person and per week.

Number of bottles consumer per person around the world

In 2020, each person in Portugal is estimated to have consumed a litre of wine per week - the equivalent to 4 large glasses (250ml) of wine.

In the UK, each person is estimated to have consumed two large glasses of wine a week.

As a country, the US consumes the most wine in the world but when considering population, the average American consumed just one large glass (250ml) of wine a week in 2020.

Wine in decline

Despite globally consuming 234 (mhl) of wine in 2020, the amount of wine being consumed in some countries is showing signs of decline.

We analysed OIV data from 2000 and 2020 to find out how wine consumption has changed in the biggest wine drinking countries in the world.

Updated 12 July 2021
CountryNumber of bottles of wine consumed per person in 2000Number of bottles of wine consumed per person in 2020Percentage change between 2000 and 2020
South Africa17.49.9-43.49%

South Africa, Argentina and Spain have all seen consumption declines of over 40% since 2000.

France, home to some of the best fine wine producing regions in the world, has seen wine consumption drop by a third since 2000.

Where is wine consumption increasing?

It’s not all bad news for wine producers and sellers. Our analysis found that wine consumption in the following countries has increased since 2000.

Updated 2 August 2021
CountryNumber of bottles of wine in 2000Number of bottles of wine in 2000Percentage change between 2000 and 2020
Czech Republic10.430.9196.45%

Consumption of wine in the Czech Republic has boomed since 2000, with the number of bottles consumed per capita tripling in just 20 years.

The most searched for wine around the world

With 22 countries consuming over 2 mhl of wine in 2020, investigated to find out which wines these countries were searching for the most.

Using seed lists of the most common red, white and sparkling wines, we analysed Google search volume data to find out which wines countries were interested in the most.

Use the map below to explore which countries searched for different wines and hover over individual countries to see the total 12 month search volume.

Updated 3 November 2021
CountryMost searched for red wine Most searched for white wine Most searched for sparkling wine
ArgentinaMalbec (93,600)Chardonnay (45,600)Cava (92,100)
AustraliaPinot Noir (159,800)Moscato (168,800)Champagne (299,400)
AustriaChianti (23,200)Chardonnay (32,000)Champagne (65,700)
BelgiumChateauneuf-du-pape (40,100)Chardonnay (31,000)Champagne (203,400)
BrazilMalbec (2,433,000)Vinho Verde (173,400)Champagne (960,500)
CanadaChianti (117,800)Pinot Grigio (128,500)Champagne (314,400)
Czech RepublicMerlot (19,100)Chardonnay (30,800)Prosecco (231,000)
FranceChateauneuf-du-pape (299,100)Chardonnay (201,500)Champagne (1,097,500)
GermanyCabernet Sauvignon (105,100)Chardonnay (242,600)Champagne (654,500)
ItalyBarolo (310,000)Chianti (301,700)Champagne (636,500)
JapanMerlot (139,800)Chardonnay (162,500)Champagne (554,000)
NetherlandsBarolo (51,400)Pinot Grigio (138,700)Champagne (328,800)
PortugalPinot Noir (10,900)Vinho Verde (66,300)Champagne (48,200)
RomaniaCabernet Sauvignon (24,100)Chardonnay (22,000)Prosecco (202,700)
Russian FederationBarbera (78,000)Pinot Grigio (118,200)Prosecco (566,000)
South AfricaCabernet Sauvignon (34,500)Chardonnay (37,400)Champagne (208,100)
SpainMalbec (52,900)Verdejo (89,700)Cava (201,000)
SwedenPinot Noir (56,400)Riesling (57,000)Champagne (271,800)
SwitzerlandChateauneuf-du-pape (37,200)Moscato (42,000)Prosecco (78,500)
UKChateauneuf-du-pape (311,000)Pinot Grigio (216,300)Prosecco (944,500)
USAPinot Noir (1,183,000)Moscato (1,258,000)Champagne (3,096,000)

Of the 21 countries analysed, Chardonnay is the most popular white wine, with eight of the countries searching for the French grape variety the most.

For red wine, however, the Italians reign supreme with a third of the countries searching for Lambrusco the most.

When it comes to sparkling wine, Champagne takes the crown as the world’s most searched for bubbly.

Alternative wine searches - where is interest growing?

In addition to finding out which grape varieties the world is interested in, we decided to investigate which new emerging wine trends are gaining the attention of consumers across the globe.

Organic wine

We analysed search data for the following alternative wine terms in the 21 biggest wine drinking countries in the world to find out where these trends are growing rapidly:

  • natural wine

  • organic wine

  • biodynamic wine

  • vegetarian wine

  • vegan wine

  • low alcohol wine

  • alcohol free wine

We compared the total search volume for these terms in 2018 with the total search volume in 2020 to find out which nations have seen the largest percentage increase.

Wine trends around the world

Japan has seen the largest increase in interest in natural wine in the past three years. Searches for “natural wine” have increased by 254% from 6,590 in 2018 to 23,300 in 2020.

In addition to natural wine, we were keen to find out which nation has a growing interest in organic wine. Our research shows that searches for “organic wine” in Brazil have increased by 174% since 2018.

In addition to natural wine, we were keen to find out which nation has a growing interest in organic wine. Our research shows that searches for “organic wine” in Brazil have increased by 174% since 2018.

When it comes to biodynamic wine, Sweden shows the largest increase in interest. In 2018, Swedes searched for “biodynamic wine” just 690 times, but by 2020 this increased to 2,040 time - an increase of 196%.

Vegan and vegetarian diets have increased in popularity in recent years, with some studies estimating that 8% of the world’s population now identify as vegan, vegetarian or somewhere in between. But where are searches for vegan and vegetarian wines growing rapidly? 

Our research found that searches for “vegan wine” have increased significantly in Argentina in recent years, with a 534% increase. As for “vegetarian wine”, Spain has seen the largest percentage increase at 54%, however actual search volumes are still low. When it comes to raw numbers, the French are leading the way with searches for vegetarian wines with 27,200 searches in 2020.

The low- and no-alcohol movement has boomed in recent years, and many traditional booze brands have branched out to create alcohol-free options. But where is demand growing?

According to the Google search data, demand for alcohol-free wine is growing rapidly in Australia. In 2018, Aussies searched for “alcohol free wine” 4,580 times. In 2020, the number of searches had almost tripled (+195.4%) with Google reporting 13,530 searches for the same term. Swiss demand for “non-alcoholic wine” has also increased significantly in recent years, with searches also tripling (+194.6%) since 2018.

What is natural wine?

Natural wine

According to Raw Wine, natural wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum.

What is organic wine?

Organic vineyard

According to the Soil Association, organic wine production has to meet strict requirements, covering everything from pesticide use, and land management, to preservation and storage. 

The dilemma with organic wines (and what sets them apart from other organic foods) is the importance of sulphur-dioxide (SO2) in the winemaking process. Perhaps you’ve seen a lot more European organic (called ‘bio’) wines and this is because Europe has a different definition of organic:

USA: “a wine made from organically grown grapes without added sulfites”

Europe and Canada: “a wine made from organically grown grapes that may contain added sulfites”

What is the difference between natural and organic wine?

The term ‘natural wine’ is often used as an umbrella term to describe organic and biodynamic wines. 

Many 'natural wines' are grown without herbicides or pesticides and the fermentation occurs without artificial additives, but there are no legal standards for this definition.

What is biodynamic wine?

Biodynamic vineyard

According to Savage Vines, biodynamic wine is produced from grapes grown through biodynamic principles. This is when the land is seen as part of the planet and solar system, and the vineyard isn’t seen as an isolated piece of land, engineered for the sole purpose of growing grapes.

Is wine vegan?

Vegan wine

Although made from grapes, wine may have been made using animal-derived products. During the winemaking process, the liquid is filtered through substances called “fining agents.” This process is used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness, “off” flavors and colorings, and other organic particles. Popular animal-derived fining agents used in the production of wine include bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin, and isinglass.

Vineyards: How much land do they cover? 

In 2020 vineyards covered 7,331,000 hectacres (28,305 square miles) the equivalent to 13,699,620 football pitches.

How big is a hectare?

1 hectare (ha) is equivalent to 1,000 square metres.

There are approximately 1.86 football fields to every hectare.

Which country has the most land covered by vineyards?

Spain has the most land covered by vineyards with 9,610 sq. km (3,710 sq. mi) dedicated to vines for all purposes (wine and juices, table grapes and raisins), including young vines not yet in production. In 2020, Spanish vineyards accounted for 13.1% of all on Earth.

Which country has the highest percentage of land dedicated to vineyards?

We used data from OIV on countries with vineyards larger than 50,000 hectares in 2020 and combined this with land data from the World Bank to reveal which of these dedicates the most land to grapes.

Updated 12 July 2021
CountryVineyard in km2Land area in sq. kmPercentage of country covered by vineyard
Hungary 65091,2600.71%
South Africa1,2201,213,0900.10%

Despite vineyards only covering 1,400 sq. km, Moldova is the country that has the highest percentage of land dedicated to growing grapes at 4.26%.

In second place is Italy with 2.41% vine coverage and Portugal ranks third with 2.12% coverage.

Picturesque vineyards: where are the most Instagrammable vineyards in World?

Any true wine-lover will tell you that it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts. However, in recent years, vineyards and wineries have expanded beyond wine production to wedding venues, restaurants and bars. But where are the most picturesque vineyards in the world?

We analysed the Instagram hashtags associated with the World’s 50 Best Vineyards to find out:

most instagrammable vineyards  in the world

The most Instagrammable vineyard in the world is Craggy Range in New Zealand.

Established in 1998, Craggy Range is situated in the shadow of the Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

Craggy Range


The second most Instagrammable vineyard in the world is the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, California, USA.

Rated the number one vineyard in North America, and fifth best in the world, it's easy to see why over 12,000 photos have shared at the Robert Mondavi Winery.

Robert Mondavi Winery


The most Instagrammable vineyards in Britain

While we may all be dreaming of jetting off to New Zealand or California to see the world’s most beautiful vineyards, the current travel restrictions will likely mean that’s not possible. 

As a result, we’ve also analysed the hashtags associated with 693 vineyards listed on The Great British Vineyards Guide to reveal the most Instagrammable vineyards in Britain:

most instagrammable vineyards in Britain.

With over 9,000 hashtags, Britain's most Instagrammable vineyard is Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey.

Denbies Wine Estate


The second most Instagrammable vineyard in Britain, is Llanerch Vineyard in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales.

Llanerch vineyard


Wine facts

Who produces the most wine?

Although Spain has the most land dedicated to vineyards in the world, in 2020, Italy was the country which produced the most wine. In 2020, the Italians produced 49.1 mhl. The second largest wine producer was France, who produced 46.6 mhl, followed by Spain who produced 40.7 mhl. Together the three countries accounted for 53% of the world wine production in 2020.

Where is the oldest winery in the world?

An international team of researchers suggest that the oldest winery is located in Armenia. In 2007, a research expedition into a multicomponent site called Areni-1 cave – a late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age ritual site - discovered a drinking bowl, grape seeds, desiccated vines, pottery sherds and fermentation jars which are estimated to be 6,100 years old.

What is the oldest bottle of wine in the world?

The Speyer wine bottle is believed to be the oldest unopened bottle of wine in the world and is dated around 325 AD - 350 AD. Since its discovery in 1867, it has been exhibited at the Wine Museum section of the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer.

What is the most expensive wine in the world?

Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 is the world’s most expensive wine ever sold. An imperial bottle - containing 6 litres of wine - sold in 2000 at the Napa Valley Wine Auction for $500,000.

Wine auctions and investing

Despite being a favourite tipple for many, wine is also often seen as an alternative form of investment. With vintage wines and rare bottles often fetching thousands of pounds at auction, we decided to investigate what the most expensive auctions were and how much money they fetched.

Using information from Sotheby's global auction houses, we can reveal the most valuable wine auctions in history:

Updated 2 August 2021
Auction NameDateLocationValueValue at time of sale in GBP
Tran-scend-ent Wines29–31 March 2019Hong Kong$234,207,480.00 HKD£22,961,518
Wines From The Cellar of William I. Koch19–21 May 2016New York$21,856,686.00 USD£15,611,918
The Philanthropist’s Cellar An Extraordinary Collection Sold to Benefit Charitable Causes31 March 2018Hong Kong$127,224,435.00 HKD£11,555,353
The Ultimate European Cellar From A Visionary Collector28 May 2021Hong Kong$121,683,750 HKD£11,048,762.82
The Summit A Complete Cellar5–6 July 2020Hong Kong$122,841,220.00 HKD£12,795,960
A Magnificent Bordeaux Cellar II Finest And Rarest Wines Featuring The Collection Of Ambassador Ronald Weiser4–5 April 2014Hong Kong$99,509,200.00 HKD£7,774,156
The Ultimate Cellar2–3 April 2011Hong Kong$96,783,060.00 HKD£7,742,645
The Bordeaux Collection from SK Networks30 October 2010Hong Kong$79,291,300.00 HKD£6,446,447
Finest And Rarest Wines, Including The Ultimate Nine From The Bordeaux Winebank Collection2 October 2011Hong Kong$71,898,200.00 HKD£5,991,517
Finest And Rarest Wines Featuring The Bordeaux Winebank 2000 Collection Part II23 January 2011Hong Kong$68,669,920.00 HKD£5,537,897

The best performing investment wines year-on-year

Investing in wine, like any investment, comes with the risk that you may get back less than you originally invested. 

We spoke with the experts at Liv-ex to find out more about the best performing investment wines on the Liv-ex 1000 in the 20/21 financial year (April 2020 vs April 2021).

The table below is for informational purposes only and is not individual or investment advice.

Investing is a high risk activity and you may get less than you originally put in. Capital at risk.

Updated 2 August 2021
Wine nameVintageApril 2020 priceApril 2021 pricePercentage in year-on-year
Antinori, Toscana Tignanello2016£830£1,06027.70%
Louis Roederer, Cristal2008£1,750£2,20025.70%
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee-Conti Grand Cru2015£192,000£240,00025.00%
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac2016£5,670£7,04024.20%
Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido2016£2,300£2,85023.90%
Antinori, Toscana Tignanello2015£890£1,10023.60%
Famille Perrin, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau de Beaucastel Rouge2015£440£53421.40%
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Clavoillon2015£1,200£1,44020.00%
Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs2006£850£1,02020.00%
Antinori, Toscana Solaia2015£2,550£3,04019.20%

The prices given are for Liv-ex Market Prices (12x75cl cases).

What influences wine value for investment?

Wine Cellar

According to Vin-x, the following factors influence the valuation of investment wines:

Brand: the profile of the producer and their market recognition as highly regarded fine wine makers can influence the value of a fine wine.

Critical opinion: how a wine is received by leading industry critics and the scores it receives can impact the value of wine.

Vintage and age: older wine and top vintages tend to command higher values.

Rarity: as a wine ages it improves in quality within its drinking window, it is likely to become increasingly scarce and more valuable.

Provenance and storage: fine wines with an impeccable history of ownership and correct storage tend to command a higher price. Wines bought directly from the wine producer’s cellar can increase the value. Most investment wines are kept in a specialist bonded storage facility to guarantee the optimum conditions to protect quality and value.

Original Wooden Case (OWC) and bottle condition: the state or quality of the investment wine packaging and label will also affect price. Ideally investment wines should have perfect packaging in their original wooden case with pristine labels and a condition report should be requested.

Region: particular wine producing regions tend to command higher prices. These regions include Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone in France, Tuscany and Piedmont in Italy, the Douro in Spain, Napa and Sonoma in California.

Wine market strength: like any asset the value of fine wine can go up and down.

Tax status: the value of investment wine can be influenced depending on whether duty and tax has been paid or if it is in bond.

Making the best decisions to help grow your investments 

Investing in wine, like any investment can be a high risk activity, and you get back less than you originally invested. The right investments could earn you greater returns than any savings account, which is why it is important to consider where you invest and what you invest in, to maximise your chances of making a profit.

There are many different types of investment options which makes working out what type fits best with your financial objectives is the first, and possibly the most important, step.

Aside from alternative investments like wine and antiques, one option is to buy and sell shares in publicly listed companies. If you're considering this, then you may want to consider a share dealing account.

Whatever option you choose, it's important to double check that you are happy with the charges that apply, comfortable with the way your investment will be managed and confident that you have made the right choice for your circumstances.

If you have any doubts then you should always speak to an independent financial adviser who will be able to help you further before you make any financial commitment.

About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press such as The Express, Travel Daily, and The Daily Star.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.

About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.