Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

globalization of the world’s wine markets continues to accelerate. There was always some trade between Mediterranean countries, and a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I, but until the late 20th century intercontinental interactions involved little more than the exporting of cuttings and traditional production expertise. Most wine was consumed in the country of production, and those countries were mostly in Europe. But since the 1980s, with the fall in transport and communication costs, the wine industry has embraced new modes of internationalization. They include a greater export focus by the main producers, mergers and acquisitions of what are becoming multinational wine companies (see below), the not-unrelated growth of supermarket chains operating internationally as wine retailers, and the increase in oenologists and viticulturists employed in multiple countries.