Wine Industry Trends

April 30, 2024

Understanding wine trends is crucial for importers aiming to meet consumer demand and navigate the global wine market effectively. With the industry experiencing shifts in consumer preferences, recognizing popular wine trends becomes essential. This article will explore the significance of wine trends for importers, provide an overview of the global wine landscape, highlight consumer-favored wine trends, and identify three emerging wine countries contributing novel and exciting options to the market, thereby offering importers insights into expanding their portfolios strategically beyond the traditional wine regions.

Why is it Important to Keep Up to Date with Wine Trends for Wine Importers?

In today's rapidly evolving wine industry, staying abreast of the latest trends for wine drinkers is not just beneficial for wine importers—it's essential. This dynamic sector is characterized by shifting consumer preferences, technological advancements, and global economic fluctuations, all of which significantly impact the trade and importation of wine.

One key insight is the impact of consumer preferences and the demographic shift towards a more diverse audience, including Gen Z, the most racially and ethnically diverse generation to date. This demographic is keen to support groups historically facing discrimination, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and female producers. This trend is reshaping the wine market, making it more inclusive and diverse, which in turn influences the types of wines that importers should consider bringing to their markets​​.

Moreover, the global trade landscape has experienced monumental shifts, from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to fluctuations in global exports and imports. The resilience of the wine market was notably demonstrated in 2021 when a record 111.6 million hectoliters of wine were exported globally, the largest volume ever recorded. This surge not only signified the sector's recovery post-pandemic but also highlighted the increasing global demand for wine, with the value of exports experiencing a significant 16% increase, equating to €34.3 billion. These statistics underscore the importance for importers to stay informed about global trade dynamics to adapt and thrive in a recovering market​.

Wine Trends

Emerging wine regions and the growing popularity of hybrid and indigenous grapes are trends that cannot be ignored. Traditional wine powerhouses like Burgundy and Napa are seeing challenges from fires, frost, and drought, making room for lesser-known regions and grapes that can adapt to climate change. This shift not only introduces wine importers to new opportunities but also encourages innovation and sustainability in the wines they choose to import​.

Furthermore, the US retail market analysis reveals significant trends shaping consumer buying patterns, such as the growing preference for sparkling wine, the rise in average retail prices due to consumers trading up, and the notable performance of Italian wines in certain price brackets. These insights are invaluable for importers looking to adjust their portfolios to meet changing consumer demands​.

Global Wine Market Trends

The global wine market is a rich tapestry woven from the vines of traditional and emerging wine-producing regions, each adapting to the shifting sands of consumer preferences and environmental challenges. Here are key wine industry insights, that offer a glimpse into the evolving landscape of wine production, influenced by regional dynamics, climate change, and notable regional highlights.

Wine Consumption Trends

The wine industry has witnessed a nuanced tapestry of production trends, with some regions experiencing growth while others face declines. For instance, the European Union (EU) saw its wine production decrease by 7% to 150 million hectoliters (mhl) in 2023, with significant drops in Italy and Spain. Conversely, the United States predicted a 12% increase in wine production, indicating a resilient and potentially expanding market. These fluctuations highlight the dynamic nature of global wine production and the varying factors influencing different regions.

Wine Consumption Trends

Impact of Climate Change

2023 marked a pivotal year for the global wine industry, grappling with "extreme climatic conditions" that drove wine production to a 60-year low, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). This dramatic reduction in harvest volumes, estimated between 241.7mhl and 246.6mhl, underscores the profound impact of climate change on traditional wine-producing regions. Such adversities have prompted producers to adopt innovative agricultural practices and explore new terroirs, reflecting the industry's resilience and adaptability​.

Regional Highlights

  • Europe: The EU's production fell notably, with Italy and Spain experiencing significant declines. This reduction contributes to a broader narrative of adjusting to climate challenges and market demands​.
  • United States: In contrast, the U.S. enjoyed a boost in wine production, demonstrating the diverse impacts of climatic and market factors across regions​.
  • Southern Hemisphere: Countries like Australia, Argentina, and South Africa faced "heavily affected" production due to adverse weather conditions, emphasizing the global reach of climate impact on wine production​.

Consumer Preferences and Behavior Trends in the Wine Market

The wine market is witnessing a nuanced shift in consumer preferences and behaviors, influenced by a blend of demographic changes, evolving tastes, and emerging trends. Here's a deeper dive into what's shaping the wine consumption landscape.

Wine Consumption Trends

In exploring the diverse world of wine, recent statistics offer a fascinating glimpse into global consumption patterns across various types of wine. These insights reveal shifting trends and preferences for wine consumers, highlighting the dynamic nature of the wine industry.

Wine Consumption Trends
  • Red Wines: The global demand for red wine has seen a decrease over the past two decades, with production dropping by 25% since its peak in 2004. This indicates a significant shift in consumer preferences away from red wines​​.
  • White Wines: Contrarily, white wines have experienced a surge in popularity, with their production surpassing that of red wines since 2013. This rise is largely driven by the growing demand for sparkling wines, signifying a preference for lighter wine varieties​​.
  • Rosé Wines: Rosé wines have also seen a notable increase in both demand and supply, with production rising by 25% between 2001 and 2021. This trend reflects a growing consumer interest in more diverse and refreshing wine options​.
  • Sparkling Wines: Sparkling wines have emerged as a significant player in the global wine market, accounting for a considerable share of Italy and France's wine exports. This category's growth is indicative of a broader trend towards more celebratory and versatile wine choices​.
  • Low and Non-Alcohol Wines: Although they represent a small fraction of the total wine market, low alcohol wines and no alcohol wine have experienced impressive growth, with an annual increase of 25% from 2015 to 2020. This trend is propelled by a global movement towards alcohol moderation and wellness​​.

These statistics highlight the evolving landscape of wine consumption worldwide, showcasing the diverse preferences of global wine enthusiasts.

Sustainability and Organic Wine

The organic wine and natural wine market has seen robust growth, with sales expected to reach USD 49.5 billion by 2025, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%. This surge is indicative of consumers' growing preference for sustainable and health-conscious options. Europe leads in organic wine consumption, with countries like Germany, France, and the UK being top consumers, driven by a higher awareness and preference for organic products. A significant number of Millennials, particularly in European countries, have shown a strong preference for environmentally friendly and "responsible" wines, highlighting a generational shift towards sustainability​​​. So, by implementing sustainable techniques of wine production and refering to them in the story you have created for your brand, you will appeal to a broader audience.

Online Wine Sales

The pandemic has catalyzed a shift towards online wine sales, with on-premise wine sales seeing a decline of nearly 30%. Digital platforms have become a popular channel among American consumers, reflecting a broader trend of increasing convenience and home consumption. This trend is not limited to the US, as the global wine market has witnessed a significant shift towards online purchasing, with e-commerce sales representing 19% of global wine retail sales in 2020, up from 8% in 2019​​​.

Demographic Shifts

Demographics play a critical role in shaping the wine market. Millennials account for 36% of wine-consuming adults in the United States in 2021, marking them as a key demographic. The wine consumer base is aging and diversifying, with different ethnic groups showing varying preferences and consumption patterns. Gen Z and Millennials are more inclined towards wine consumption compared to older generations, and there is a notable interest in wine among diverse ethnic groups, reflecting the broadening appeal of wine across different demographics​.

Price Points and Preferences

Consumer behaviour also reflects a nuanced approach to wine purchases, with a "less but better" attitude prevailing. Fine wine is performing significantly better than its lower-priced counterparts, indicating that consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality, unique stories or sustainably produced wines. This trend towards premiumization, coupled with the popularity of online sales, has given a boost to the luxury wine market​​​.

Adaptation Strategies for Wine Producers

In response to these evolving consumer preferences, wine producers are adjusting their strategies. This includes a focus on sustainable viticulture practices, crafting compelling narratives for your wine brand, and leveraging direct-to-consumer and online sales channels. Brands like Bonterra Organic Vineyards and Winc exemplify success in this changing landscape by focusing on organic, biodynamic wines and offering personalized online shopping experiences​.

Today's wine market is characterized by a discerning consumer base that values sustainability, authenticity, and quality over price. With the rise of e-commerce and a notable interest in sparkling and premium wines, producers have the opportunity to tap into new consumer segments and drive growth through innovation and adaptation.

Emerging Wine Countries

The world of wine is vast and ever-expanding, with new regions entering the spotlight for their unique contributions to viniculture. Beyond the traditional wine regions of Europe, several countries have been making significant strides in wine production, garnering global attention for their quality and innovation. Among these emerging wine countries, the United States, Japan, and Russia stand out for their distinctive wine profiles, grape varieties, and growing regions. Let's explore the wine landscapes of these countries, highlighting their main wine regions, most common grapes, and wine imports as of 2022.

Emerging Wine Countries

United States

The United States has established itself as a powerhouse in the global wine industry, with a rich diversity of wine regions and grape varieties. In 2022, the country imported 14,371 hectoliters of wine, showcasing its vibrant wine culture and demand for diverse wine experiences. The most common grapes found across the U.S. include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, French Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah. These varieties are cultivated in the nation's main wine regions:

  • California: The cornerstone of American winemaking, known for its world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
  • Oregon: Gaining fame for its exceptional Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
  • Washington: Recognized for its robust Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
  • New York: Emerging for its quality Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc.

These regions collectively contribute to the United States' reputation as a dynamic and innovative wine-producing nation.


Japan is a fascinating player in the global wine scene, focusing on indigenous and international grape varieties. The country imported 2,655 hectoliters of wine in 2022, reflecting a growing interest in wine consumption and production. Japan's main wine regions are:

  • Yamanashi: The heart of Japanese winemaking, known for the Koshu grape.
  • Hokkaido: Offers a cooler climate suitable for varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
  • Nagano: Gains recognition for its diverse grape cultivation, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The most common grapes include indigenous varieties such as Koshu and Muscat Bailey A, alongside international favourites like Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Japan's wine industry highlights a blend of tradition and innovation, creating unique flavours that contribute to the global wine palette.


Chile's wine industry is getting more recognition for its diverse climates and rich winemaking heritage, blending traditional methods with modern innovation. In 2022, Chile imported 30,000 hectoliters of wine, reflecting its vibrant domestic wine scene and consumer interest. The main wine regions include:

  • Atacama Region: Situated in the northern part of Chile, this region is making strides in winemaking despite its arid conditions.
  • Coquimbo Region: Known for its production of aromatic wines, benefiting from the cool coastal breezes.
  • Casablanca Valley: Celebrated for its premium white wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, due to its cool climate.
  • Maipo Valley: The heart of Chile's wine country, famed for its high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Colchagua Valley: Renowned for producing some of the best red wines in Chile, including Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Aconcagua Valley: Famous for both its red and white wines, benefiting from a unique microclimate.

The most common grapes in Chile are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Viognier, showcasing a blend of traditional and international varieties. Chile's wine regions have developed unique profiles that underscore the country's prominent position in the global wine industry.

Final Thougths

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding wine trends is essential for importers to navigate the global wine market's complexities successfully. By keeping abreast of consumer preferences, emerging wine countries, and the most popular wine trends, importers can make informed decisions that align with market demand. This article has explored these key areas, providing insights into how importers can adapt and thrive in the dynamic wine world. Last but not least: if you want to create your own wine brand, you also need to be aware of the latest trends in the industry. This will give you a competitive advantage over the rest, as well as a snapshot of the main opportunities you can take advantage of to develop and grow your brand.