Italy's wine production pulled ahead of France in 2015, as the producers of Chianti upended the makers of Burgundy with a 12-per-cent increase, placing Italy as the world leader.
Italy produced 4.95 billion litres of wine last year compared to France's 4.75 billion, the International Organization of Vine and Wine said in its annual report Monday. Over the past few years, Italy and France have swapped turns in first rank.
Overall, world production increased by 2 per cent, despite drops in Spanish and Argentinian production. Bulgaria and Chile saw the biggest production jumps, with 106 and 28 per cent respectively.
The US remained the biggest consumer of wine, followed by France, Italy, Germany and China. Overall wine consumption increased, including in the leading consumer countries, apart from France, where it decreased 1.2 per cent.
Trade in wine also increased, rising by 1,8 per cent. International Organization of Vine and Wine head Jean-Marie Aurand said the rise was considerable, noting that, "of every five bottles of wine that are drunk, more than two have been imported."
"So wine is continuing its success in international trade," he said.
Spain continued to be the world's leading wine exporter by volume in 2015, with 2.4 billion litres being sent to foreign markets. Italy was the second biggest exporter, followed by France.
By value, however, France was the leading exporter, selling 8.244 billion euros (9.3 billion dollars) last year. That figure compares to Italy's 5.35 billion in wine exports, and Spain's 2.64 billion.
The largest import countries, by volume, were Germany, Britain and the US.