HUFFINGTON POST
06/13/2011 09:53 am ET Updated Aug 13, 2011

Italy Passes France In Total Wine Production

Italy surpassed France in total wine production last year, according to data from the European Commission. Italian producers bottled 4.96 billion liters to France's 4.62 billion liters; the former held steady while the latter dropped 1%. The two countries have long sparred over the top slot, with the winner's mantle switching back and forth from year to year. Most of the variability can be attributed to changes in growing conditions from year to year; wine grapes are notoriously susceptible to shifts in weather.

Both Italy and France consistently produce far more than the third-biggest producer, Spain, who in turn produces far more than the fourth-biggest, the US.