France, the world’s leading wine producer (10.14)

France is about to regain its place as the world’s leading wine producer, with an estimated volume of 46.2 million hectolitres in 2014 – i.e. one-sixth of global production, according to figures published by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).

This is a 10% increase in volume compared to 2013, a figure which must be assessed in relation to the relative decline in global production (of 6% compared to 2013).

Wine production is France’s second-largest export sector, and it directly or indirectly employs more than 558,000 people. It is the agrifood sector with the largest surplus and the sector with the second-largest surplus overall, after aerospace and ahead of chemicals/perfumes. Some 30% of the wine produced in France is for export, 54% of this being to Europe. France’s main customers, in terms of value, are Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States, Russia, Canada and Japan.

Recognized for its quality, French wine is a significant source of attractiveness, as shown by the success of the wine tourism sector. It attracts more than 10 million people a year to our regions, 39% of them foreign (mainly people from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and America). The sector is currently expanding, particularly under the impetus of local players, who organize attractive visits and diversify their offer by also arranging hikes, cellar visits, concerts and wine-tasting courses. Given the potential of this market, the French tourism development agency, Atout France, is increasing the number of initiatives to this end, under the label Vignobles Découvertes [Vineyards and Discoveries], which showcases destinations with a high-quality, comprehensive and relevant offer relating to the vineyard sector. The list of vineyards with this label is available on Atout France’s website: http://www.atout-france.fr/label-vignobles-decouvertes

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