Wine by Country: Top 3 Wine Countries

It is common to categorize wine by country. The reason for this is because the style of the wine differs depending on where it is made. Different countries are famous for different types of wine. In this blog post you will find out which are the three largest wine producing countries in the world.

wine by country illustrated by vineyard landscape

Published May 4th 2020

Wine is produced in almost 80 countries around the world. Climate, soil, tradition and types of wine grapes create different wine styles. There are many different wines available and many shops categorize wine by country to make it easier for consumers to choose - because the country of origin is a major factor in the style of wine you are buying. In this guide you will learn more about where wine can be grown and the top wine producing countries.

Which countries produce wine?

Wine grapes can grow in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, ideally between the 30th and the 50th degree of latitude, but smaller amounts of wine production is also found outside these ranges. Sometimes wine production can be found in some unexpected places, such as coral sand in Tahiti or cold-climate countries like Sweden.

During the last decade, China has become one of the largest and most interesting wine countries. Despite the increase of new exotic wine producing countries, the great majority of the worldwide wine production comes from only a few countries. Europe still dominates in the world's wine production. The top three wine producing countries, Italy, France and Spain, are accounting for over almost half of all the wine produced in the world. Europe is also the continent with the highest alcohol consumption by country. Europe offers a wide variety of wine regions. There are many different types of European wine. 

1. Italy

Since 2014, Italy is the number one wine producer worldwide, which means that it is the country that produces most wine in the world. According to European wine production statistics, the Italian production in 2019 was 47,5 million hectolitres of wine. This is a decrease from the record year of 2018, when the country produced 54,3 million hectolitres. This can be compared to the global wine production of 293 million hectolitres during 2018.

Italian wine production accounted for 19% of global production. Italy offers many different types of wine, ranging from the famous sparkling wine Prosecco to bold red wines like Nebbiolo. The majority of Italian wine is exported, but a significant part is consumed in the country. The average wine consumption is 42 liters per capita, which makes Italy the 5th largest wine country in terms of wine consumption by year. 

2. France

France is know as the origin of wine and one of the best places to grow and consume wine from. Nearly all the best wines in the world ranking come from France. Here you find famous wine regions such are Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy. France has been the leading wine producing country for many years, until Italy became number one in 2014.

In 2018 France produced 49,2 million hectolitres of wine. In 2019, production dropped to 42,1 million hectolitres. France produces approximately 17% of the world's wine. The average wine consumption in France is the 2nd highest in the world. Only Portugal has a higher wine consumption per capita.

3. Spain

Spain is the country with the largest vineyard acreage in the world. Due to the fact that vineyards in Spain have lower yields than vineyards in Italy and France, Spain's total wine production is lower. In 2018 Spain produced 44,9 million hectolitres of wine and in 2019 the number was 33,5 million hectolitres.

Spain produces 15% of all the wine in the world and is one of the most popular wine regions. The country is home to the famous Rioja wines and the sparkling wine Cava, and some of the largest wine producing companies are Spanish.