Wine prices to soar 10% as wildfires, drought hit Europe's vineyards

Now we can’t even afford to drown our sorrows this winter! Price of wine will surge 10 per cent after wildfires and droughts scorched vineyards across Europe

  • Wine price surge predicted by Direct Wines and Laithwaites boss David Gates
  • It comes as price of wine and spirits has already risen by 6 per cent in last year 
  • Price of olive oil is also expected to surge by as much as 25 per cent this year 

The price of wine could soar by 10 per cent this year as searing temperatures and heatwaves continue to wreak havoc on Europe’s vineyards. 

David Gates, CEO of Direct Wines and parent company Laithwaites, says a bottle of red or white from favourites France, Italy and Spain will only get more expensive if the heat and drought continue much longer.

It comes as prices for both wines and spirits have already risen by more than six per cent in the past year, according to government figures, as the cost-of-living crisis and inflation continue to pull at Brits’ purse strings. 

But Mr Gates fears a further increase of four per cent by the end of the year is now on the cards. 

It comes as olive oil prices are also shooting up due to the heat’s impact on harvests.

The cost of the essential cooking item, often referred to as ‘liquid gold’ by the countries who export it – mainly Spain and Italy – could spiral by as much as 25 per before the year’s end. 

Mr Gates told the Telegraph: ‘Hot weather and low rain tends to lead to lower yields which leads to increased prices. 

Jesus Soto checks his vineyard after it was partially scorched by a wildfire near Cebreros in the province of Avila, Spain, in July this year

‘On top of that costs of all the dry goods, so items such as bottles and cardboard, are significantly up due to supply chain and energy cost issues.’

A further price increase on wines would be another blow to the industry in Britain, as the upcoming Alcohol Duty Reforms look set to increase the average price of a bottle by 65p. 

Due to start in February, the government plan will tax drinks based on their alcohol content, meaning red and white wines, which are usually upwards of 11 per cent, could be among the hardest hit. 

Mr Gates warned that wine retailers were ‘being bombarded from every direction with inflationary pressure; staff salaries, energy, delivery costs, raw materials and recycling costs’.

It comes as winegrowers across Europe are being forced to harvest earlier this year due to the hotter temperatures. 

It means they are producing far less than usual, with many in Spain predicting a 25 per cent drop in yield. 

Francisco Martinez Arroyo, agriculture minister for Spain’s largest wine region, Castilla-La Mancha, said the smaller harvest was good news for sellers because ‘the wine will be able to sell better and at a good price’.

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