By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new report could drive wine lovers to drink. Morgan Stanley says we could soon face a worldwide wine shortage.

Demand keeps climbing in the U.S. and China and because of weather and other factors, production is down. So, there was a shortfall of $300 million cases last year.

That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually just a drip in the bucket.

If a wine shortage really is brewing, Haskell’s president Ted Farrell doesn’t seem worried.

“Nope, just ask my accountant how much wine we have, and we have plenty,” Farrell said.

Farrell says consumption is climbing and production is down, but warehouses are still full.

“Maybe this year there is a little bit less wine that they’re producing in 2013, but don’t forget there’s 2012, there’s 2011, there’s 2010, they’re a lot of back vintages,” Farrell said.

Farrell is only worried about a few vintages from areas in Burgundy and Bordeaux, which were hard hit by hail.

His customers don’t seem too concerned, either.

Gail Owen and John Sanders hit Haskell’s for the fall wine sale and aren’t worried about talk of a shortage — or even rumors or price increases.

“It would have to be an astronomical difference to affect our buying decisions, I think,” Sanders said.

Robin Partch has been making wine at Northern Vineyards in Stillwater for 25 years. He uses grapes from a dozen Minnesota growers and says they just had the biggest crop ever.

Still, it isn’t big enough to really make a dent in the international shortage and even then they really can’t compete on price.

“No, it is expensive to grow grapes here,” Partch said. “We can’t match the really large wineries from central California that put out wine for $3 a bottle, we just can’t do that.”

Most Minnesota wines come in between $10 and $20.

One interesting side note: Demand has actually gone down in France although, per capita, the French still drink much more wine than Americans.


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