By Mike Pomranz
Updated October 27, 2014
Credit: © Carlo Bollo / Alamy

What will a 10 percent bump in wine production get you? If you’re France, it will get you your title of world’s biggest wine producer back.

Those who don’t track global wine production might be surprised to hear that for the past two years, France had slipped down the list from its previously perennial top position. In 2012, Italy claimed the top spot. In 2013, even Spain surpassed the mighty French wine industry on the list, leaving France at No. 3 last year.

But this year, sanity was restored to the rankings, thanks to a French boost and a drop in both Italian and Spanish production. France produced more than 46 million hectoliters, compared with Italy’s 44.4 million. Spain returned to the third spot with 37 million hectoliters produced. The United States was fourth with a relatively paltry 22.5 million hectoliters—an amount most Americans probably can’t even wrap their heads around, thanks to our lack of metric system love. (For the record, a hectoliter is about 26.5 gallons.)

Overall, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, which released the statistics, global wine production was down by 6 percent in 2014, which actually represented a return to “an average level.” Rounding out the top 10 were Argentina, Australia, China, South Africa, Chile and Germany.

But raise a glass to France and its victory on the vines. Or, if you’re Gérard Depardieu, raise considerably more than a glass.