Romania – Fourth in the World for Wine Production Growth

According to the latest official estimates from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), 2023 posed challenges for the wine industry with a production decrease to an unprecedented level in the last 60 years. A local platform for promoting Romanian wine, analyzed OIV data revealing that Romania is among the few countries that produced more wine than the previous year, recording the fourth-highest volume growth.

According to the OIV, Romania produced 4.4 million hectoliters of wine in 2023, a 15% increase from 2022 and a 4% rise from the five-year average, solidifying its position as the sixth-largest wine producer in Europe. Globally, volume increases were also noted in the United States (25.5 million hl, +12%), Portugal (7.4 million hl, +8%), and Germany (9 million hl, +1%).

Due to climatic conditions, drought, and vine diseases, wine production in the southern hemisphere was severely affected. In Europe, notable declines were recorded, particularly in Greece (-50%), Croatia (-46%), Georgia (-28%), Spain (-19%), Italy (-13%), and Moldova (-10%). In the southern hemisphere, significant losses were reported in all producing countries, except New Zealand, which increased production by 14%. Uruguay and Argentina produced 29% less, Australia 22% less, Chile 18% less, and South Africa 10% less. Overall, global wine production in 2023 is estimated at an average of 244 million hectoliters, a 7% decrease from the previous year, representing the lowest quantity in the last 60 years.

For Romania, this could represent a significant opportunity, but we do not yet have the maturity, market relationships, and organizational level required to take advantage of this moment. Production growth is still good news, although predictable. We still have large areas just coming into production or approaching maturity, new producers emerging, existing producers diversifying and refining their offerings—in short, signs of maturation in the Romanian wine market, at least in terms of production,” said Marinela Ardelean, a wine expert, co-organizer of a local wine festival, and founder of platform about wines.

Regarding wine consumption, Ardelean highlighted differences. While a solid community of knowledgeable and discerning consumers has developed domestically in the last 10-20 years, the industry still needs further development.

“We are talking about bringing wine back among foodstuffs, as a reality, not just declaratively, and educating the consumer towards moderation and satisfaction, about the glass of wine at the table, and not just any wine but a quality, verified, and suitable one, not the grandfather’s country wine,” added Marinela Ardelean.

The main challenge for this year and the coming years remains opening up foreign markets. Such a global production decrease could be an opportunity for Romania to regain its international status as a wine-producing country.

Ten years ago, I said I saw Romania on the podium of quality, alongside France and Spain, by 2036. Although things are moving slower than I hoped, I still have confidence in Romanian wine, indigenous varieties, and the quality that Romanian wine producers can deliver,” Marinela Ardelean concluded.

According to OIV estimates, France has once again become the largest European wine producer, with 45.8 million hectoliters, an identical figure to the previous year. Australia, a popular source of wine for European markets, lost over a fifth of its production due to abundant rainfall and floods caused by La Niña. In South America, Chile, known for the excellent quality-to-price ratio of its wines, suffered from fires and drought, while vineyards in Argentina were affected by hail and frost.

fourthInternational Organisation of Vine and WineOIVRomaniawine industrywine productionworld
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