The earliest evidence of wine drinking was noted some 8,000 years ago.
Today, wine is still as popular as it has ever been. But as with all agricultural industries, one is not and never has been an easy trade. Climate change is threatening the viability of famous wine regions. While wine's eternal popularity makes it vulnerable to state-level persecution.
In this 5th episode of the Trading Places podcast, we explore the future of wine, the oldest traded product.
Tune in and you'll learn:
05:40 — How London's Canary Wharf got its name
"Canary Wharf is where all the wines from the Canary Islands were shipped to and stored. And we can see the example of the merchants in London that have been doing this for many centuries. "
06:04 — How Spain became the top producer of wine
"After Spain joined European union, they saw the competition, they tried French wine. And they said, 'I guess we are not at the same level of quality, but quantity wise we're there'. So as they started to invest a lot to rethink the industry. Right now, in terms of the price to quality ratio in the Old World, Spain is definitely number one."
07:32 — How global trade historically shaped the different wine regions
"The Dutch, they always wanted to try to make wine, but they could not because of the climate. So when they arrived to the south of Africa, they were really happy because there is the sun, the whether is really good. So they tried. But they did not succeed very much."
18:25 — The difference between small and large wine producers
"The small wine business system and big wine business are completely different industries. The big companies like Gallo, which was the biggest one producer in the world, Yellow Tail in Australia, some companies in France, they operate almost on industrial level, they operate as an FMCG company."
20:35 — How the wine logistics was affected by the pandemic
"In terms of shipping and logistics, I can probably just summarize it in one word: nightmare. Especially for Australia, New Zealand, where the ships are seemingly passing us by. It's nothing for four months and then everything at once. And so it's really difficult to plan your production schedule. There's not enough truck drivers. And once it is in the warehouse, there's not enough courier drivers to take it to the account."
25:43 — How much COVID has raise the price of moving wine out of the country
"Approximately 400%, some people say more. Um, so it is, it is horrendous. Um, you know, one has to work with one's partners to absorb the cost and because it can't only be put on one or the other. So I think, um, we all taking a lot of pain at the moment for hopefully a better future."
26:03 — How the climate change is affecting the wine industry
"It's getting less and less predictable. And if there are, of course, as with all the things, there are some deniers or the climate change, you need to talk to winemakers and they will tell you that the climate is changing. 40% is regular off alcohol level before it was 12, 12.5 13 was a really good. Before, it was impossible.
Why? Because the sugar levels are rising because of the heat from the sun. That's just a fact."
Where to find this episode:
Ilya Kirillin — a wine journalist and fintech entrepreneur.
Erica Crawford — co-founder of the global Kim Crawford wine brand, and now runs Lovelock wines.
Producer: Sonny Sanjay Vadgama
Showrunner: Sergey Faldin
Illustration: Irina Lisogor