Internationalization, premiumization and diversity of the world's winegrape varieties

Kym Anderson, Signe Nelgen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article reveals the extent to which national mixes of winegrape varieties (in terms of vineyard bearing area) have become more ‘internationalized’ and of arguably higher quality since wine globalization accelerated from the 1990s, and what that means for diversity of the varietal mix in the global vineyard and in consumer choice. It does so using an updated global database involving 800+ wine regions that account for 99% of the world's winegrape vineyard area and 1,700+ DNA-distinct prime winegrape varieties and 1350+ synonyms, for 2000, 2010 and 2016. It shows that vignerons’ winegrape varietal choices are narrowing in the various wine-producing countries of the world by converging on the major ‘international’ varieties, especially French ones. This is not inconsistent with the fact that wine consumers in most countries are enjoying an ever-wider choice range in terms of varieties, thanks to far greater international trade in wine associated with the current wave of globalization. Nor is it inconsistent with strengthening vigneron interest in ‘alternative’ and native varieties. The data also suggest the quality of the current global mix of varieties has been rising well above the average quality of the most-planted varieties as of 1990 or 2000.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-261
    JournalJournal of Wine Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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