Admit it: You thought France or Italy must be the world's leading wine exporter—nearly everyone does. And yet, in 2017 as in most recent years, the champion has been Spain.
Data from Spain's wine marketing tracker totalled the year's production as 22.8 million hectolitres (over 600 million U.S. gallons), compared to 21 million for Italy and 15 million for France. Surprisingly, the money value of all that wine came to €2.8 billion for Spain, while Italy's was worth €6 billion, and France's significantly smaller output was worth the most, at €9 billion!
A big reason for the apparent disparity is that more than half of Spain's exported wine is sold in bulk, not in bottles, and goes at a much cheaper price than fancier vintages and known lables. The biggest buyer of Spanish bulk wine, it turns out, is France, where it is either bottled, or sold as table wine in restaurants and stores.
So, when you're next in a French bistro and ask for 'vin rouge,' you may actually be getting some of Spain's 'vino tinto!'