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This cyber companion to the second edition of The International Wine Trade was launched sixteen years ago from a small attic flat in Edinburgh's New Town and is now changing orbit to serve as a platform for all my books.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Most striking in this visual account of the past 54 years (1961-2015) is how supply struggled to adapt to changes in demand.

Market intervention was a big economic and political issue since the 1930s crisis. The policy of stabilising wine prices and regulating trade was adopted by Switzerland and by France who later extended it to its European partners. It was the topic of my first books – on the Swiss market (Le marché des vins en Suisse) in 1978 and on The Common Wine Policy and Price Stabilization ten years later.

A 1992 round-up of the global wine market (Le Vin, penned with one of my former mentors, Walter Labys) showed that amidst the gloom caused by falling consumption and rising production surpluses there was still a glimmering light: trade.

Volumes have roughly doubled since the release of the first edition of The International Wine Trade in 1995. That material was updated here in articles like O-N-E World (2005), Opening up Markets and Minds (2007), and in the note On Global Wine Market Trends (2011), written when this chart was last brought up to date and now moved to a new '
Earlier thoughts' page as the website takes a welcome new turn. It looks as if the same dynamics are still at play and that trade keeps drifting ever further away from its Mediterranean cradle towards the Pacific basin.

My latest book stems from an intended article celebrating the integration of a few wine-growing regions into an expanding confederation of independent states, two hundred years ago. Other things were thrown in and it morphed into something rather different. The picture on
Maggie Chardonnay 's cover says it all.

August 15th, 2016


Pierre Spahni - Economic Research & Consultancy for Wine - Tel  +41 22 800 1607 Fax 800 1608