(KING/CNN) - The world is headed for a wine shortage, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.
Poor production in Europe and cork-popping demand in China are draining barrels.
Washington is awash in wine.
So, at a wine mecca like Seattle's Metropolitan Grill, you can understand how a shortage of wine is a bit tough to swallow.
"I can't understand how a shortage of wine grapes could be for real," customer Nancy French said.
But it is.
Industry analysts said global wine production peaked in 2004 and has been steadily declining ever since.
A new report shows there was an undersupply of some 300,000 cases last year, the worst in nearly half a century.
But that could be reason to toast in Washington.
While European supply is drying up due to crop problems, demand is growing like a grape vine.
The lack of production elsewhere is opening the door for Washington wineries to thirsty markets like China, which will soon suck down a billion bottles a year.
That means more farm jobs here, more wineries.
Woodinville's Chateau Ste. Michelle is working to meet the demand.
"Right now we have about 50,000 acres in the state. I can foresee that we could have as much as 150,000 or more," CEO Ted Baseler said.
The wine cellars are more like a gold mine.
Demand for fine wine is so high in Asia, tourists regularly ask to buy bottles in bulk to bring back home and sell on the black market.
"If it's one it's one thing, but when they're going three or four, and these are $600 or $800 bottles of wine, that kind of red flags it," Baseler said.
The laws of supply and demand shelved here as a wine shortage ferments around the world.
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