Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Spain, country in the grip of vinous revolution with the most land under vine in the world (954,000 ha/2,289,600 acres in 2012, after extensive eu-subsidized grubbing up), of which 34% was (mainly drip) irrigated and yet most years only the world’s third most important producer of wine. The dramatic 21st-century increase in irrigated surface and a more controversial insistence on high-yielding clones have abundantly offset a 30% reduction in vineyard surface over the past quarter-century, with current yields averaging about 43 hl/ha (3.0 tons/acre)—up from 30 hl/ha in 2005. The introduction of irrigation increased Spain’s annual average wine production from 35 million hl/924 million gal in the early 1990s to an average of more than 40 million hl after 2010.