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Gastronomy and Wine Portal

Italian wines: exports are growing

The exports of Italian wines in the first half of 2021 increased by 16%.

In the first half of 2021, Italian wine exports in value increased by 16% to 3.3 billion euros, largely driven by strong performances among sparkling wines and wines from Piedmont and Tuscany.

By the end of the year, exports are expected to reach a record high of 7 billion euros, with Italian sparkling wines up 26% and still wines up 16%.

Bag-in-box wine exports, which saw an increase in the previous period thanks to lockdowns, are now down 7%, in part due to competition from Spanish producers.

According to the data released by Unione Italiana Vini, the leading export market is the United States, where Italian sparkling wines grew by 75% between 2015 and 2018, followed by France with an increase of + 45%. In the first half of 2021, exports of Italian still bottled wines increased by 12% in the US, 18% in Germany and 19% in Canada. In the UK, still wine exports fell by 8%.

Among the Italian regions, Piedmont holds the lead, with its exports growing by 24%, while exports from Tuscany have grown by 20%.

Giovanni Mantovani, general manager of Veronafiere and Vinitaly, said: “The sector has, hopefully definitively, emerged from an unprecedented crisis. Now, particularly with our iconic wines, we are at the centre of the phenomenon linked to post-Covid revenge consumption: a driving effect from which to start again, consolidating market shares even more.”

Photo: winescholarguild.org

The exports of Italian wines in the first half of 2021 increased by 16%.

UK Consumer Survey: Central and Eastern European wine

Drinks+ as an IEF2021 media partner joined the session organized by OenoCo International, where Rose Murray Brown talked about “Engaging with the wine consumer on a limited budget”. As a part of her talk, she shared the results of the UK Consumer Survey on Central and Eastern European wine.

Rose Murray Brown, Master of Wine is Scotland’s leading award-winning drinks journalist, working as The Scotsman’s weekly drinks columnist and expert for the past 34 years.

Rose Murray Brown

During her session at the International Economic Forum 2021, Ms. Brown focused on how Central and Eastern European countries could engage better with wine consumers. Over the last week, she has been running a survey with her UK consumers data base on the Central and Eastern European wines.

Based on her research, Ms. Brown states that lots of people like Central and Eastern European countries all together, but each county has its own clearly defined identity and long authentic wine history. Some of them had 30-40-year gap and they had to restart their wine industry, some are a little bit more advanced.Central and Eastern European wine

Among challenges to mention, Central and Eastern European countries compose fragmented market, they have limited resources and little generic funding. In addition, there is a worldwide competition – the amount of money spent in the UK by the Australians, the New Zealanders, the Chileans on quality wines turned to be a good habit and it is truly difficult to compete against these countries.

However, a lot of the UK consumers are used to these wines, and they want to taste new wines as well. They want stimulation, they want to explore new tastes and flavours.

At the same time, there are lots of advantages of the Central and Eastern European wine region. Those are diversity, novelty value, native grapes, unique tastes, and different cultures – there is so much to learn, and it requires solidarity and ability to work together whether you are a region or a country. “When you pull resources, you can get your message across much better,” Rose Murray Brown convinces.UK Wine Consumer SurveyUK Consumer Survey on Central and Eastern European wine demonstrates that UK consumers do not know much about this region’s wines as 80 respondents failed to complete the survey because of lack of knowledge. But 125 people did complete the survey.

The research was focused on 12 countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia. The list of countries was composed randomly in the survey forms.

One of the questions was “Which country do you rate highest in terms of ‘wine quality’?” and the following one – “…in terms of ‘value for money’ for wine?” The absolute leaders turned to be Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova. Ukraine is not in top 9 countries in this list.

    wine quality CEE Value for money wine

The fourth question concerned the country which the respondents were most likely to attend a ‘virtual tasting’ on. Again, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria lead the ranking. Ukraine holds the 11th position – one before the last.virtual tasting CEE

Answering the question which country they are most likely to visit post-pandemic to explore its wine regions, the UK consumers chose Hungary as the most preferable destination. However, as a matter of fact, people visiting Hungary are likely to stay only in Budapest. And the challenge is to bring tourists to vineyards and wineries outside the capital. In this list, Ukraine ranks the last.Wine tourism CEE

There is no need to despair as the survey represents the UK market only. However, a few takeaways are necessary to bring on the table. Firstly, there is lack of knowledge about and interest in certain Central and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. Secondly, there is a great chance to fill the gap by working out branding and digital marketing strategies, by cooperating with other wine regions and countries, as well as to take part in different completions and awards to demonstrate your product.

Drinks+ Media Group fully realizes the challenge and aims to support the Central and Eastern European wine region. We invite all active, optimistic and creative entrepreneurs to become a nominee at the Wine Travel Awards that seek to re-energize the tourism and wine industry affected by the pandemic. WTA is an efficient and cost-effective tool for your global and national advancement!

Drinks+ as an IEF2021 media partner joined the session organized by OenoCo International, where Rose Murray Brown talked about “Engaging with the wine consumer on a limited budget”. As a part of her talk, she shared the results of the UK Consumer Survey on Central and Eastern European wine.

Trends to 2025 for the global beverage alcohol industry

Daniel Mettyear looked at how the global beverage alcohol industry is changing through the Covid-19 era with insights and analysis from the latest IWSR data.

On June 10, the Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris held a session with Daniel Mettyear, Research Director (Africa & Wine), who dived into performance and future development expectations of the key markets and categories.

Looking at total beverage alcohol (TBA) volume consumption at the global level, the actual resilience of the drinks market can be remarked over the past year. In fact, it exceeded previous expectations of 12% TBA decline in 2020 against 2019. In the end, it turned to be just a 6,2% decline what shows strong market resilience.

Total Beverage alcohol

Even though every country has experienced a different path during the pandemic, there are certain components which drove the global tendency. Firstly, the industry pivoted quickly into the market. Adaptation was a key throughout the pandemic for everybody – distributors, retailers, legislators, even consumers.

The second of those features was related to strong alcohol consumption culture. It was supported by the e-commerce development sector and virtual tastings trend.

Two key drivers of global TBA are the USA and Chine. The return of TBA is expected to reach pre-Covid levels by 2023 growing 1,5% per year. Considering the consumption of pure alcohol, it is going to grow less – around 1% per year. Therefore, it underlines the movement towards lower alcohol products.

TBA regions

Breaking down TBA by regions, North America and the CIS were among the best performing regions. The USA, Canada, Russia demonstrated growth during 2020 depending on how severely affected those of the countries were by the virus itself. Similarly impacted, Brazil fostered some remarkable results as well. Those also impacted the South America region as a whole which only declined by below 3% during 2020.

However, in the rest of the regions, exposure to the own trade and to tourism, extending lockdowns and even alcohol bans in case of South Africa, India, and Mexico have made Europe, Asia, and Central America particularly susceptible to the situation. And Africa posted one of the worst results in 2020.

2021 is considered a year of transition rather than of starting recovery. Looking forward to 2025, we may see some healthy growth rate that is going to help us get back to pre-Covid levels, as mentioned by 2023.

Beer, wine, cider, spirits

On the category level, the performance of key categories may be pursued. Immediate Covid impact leaded to 6% decline in TBA. There is consistent decline between beer, wine, spirits, and to the least extend, cider. In contrast, the RTDs level grew by 26,4% in 2020. It is driven overwhelmingly by the continuing house sales boom in the US.

This is a trend that draws on demand for lower level of refreshment, variety of flavour, and convenience what switches us to a home premise. This was supported by a surprising level of a new product development and innovation despite the timing and the situation.

Looking on the final graph on long-term recovery prospects, all in all, except for RTDs, which remain an outlier, growth rate is going to be steady.

Spirits market

Some spirits markets received one-time Covid boost, such as Russia, Australia, the UK, Canada. There is an inverse V tread with a spike in 2020. They had an existing low on premise share of consumption in common which was quickly switched to the home premise. Furthermore, there has been a decline in socializing, eating out and travel, and it promoted the home consumption increase in 2020.

So, longer term trends of decline will certainly return to Russia, Canada, and the UK. However, Australia was looking dynamic at the moment, a flat year is expected before continuing moving towards 2025.

Still Wine

A similar lockdown boost in still wine can be observed in Canada, the UK, and Germany. However, the long-term trend for wine has declined in these countries. Some of the markets demonstrated better resilience. For example, wine remained stable in Brazil during 2020 and even grew by 28%. The US and Colombia also performed well, and Italy experienced a moderate level of decline despite its harsh situation.

On the other side of the spectrum, China’s still wine market has continuously declined (about 30%) and experienced some difficulties. There was a big decline in Russia related to a new wine legislation of declassification of the market. Lockdowns, travel restrictions and low penetration of e-commerce contributed to the trend.

Sparkling wine

Even though sparkling wine is highly associated with toasting, parting, and celebrating, it showed a remarkable resilience in 2020. Surprisingly, it performs better than still wine market holding in under 5%. The attitude towards when and how sparkling wine can be consumed has been shifting. Colombia had a major home trend. Big female consumption was driven in Russia. Cava, Asti, Prosecco were registered in record sales in 2020.

On the negative side, the loss of tourism hit Thailand particularly hard. Philippines, Chine, and Brazil were impacted by trade exposure and the loss of occasion. The slight decline was observed in South Africa closely due to alcohol bans.

However, all in all, sparkling wine remains extremely robust and resilient. A quicker recovery for the category is expected comparing to previous forecasts. The pre-Covid levels may be regained by 2022.

Daniel Mettyear looked at how the global beverage alcohol industry is changing through the Covid-19 era with insights and analysis from the latest IWSR data.


Dominated by an unprecedented health and economic crisis, 2020 was particularly challenging for the Champagne wine sector and its exports worldwide. However the industry is showing real resistance as the report of the Committee Champagne reveals. The Committee collected data from all shippers and carried out the studies on the various markets to make an analytical report on Champagne sales 2020.

In 2020, Champagne shipments reached 244 million bottles, a decrease of 17.9% compared to 2019. Turnover for the sector was €4.2 billion excluding taxes: a loss of €845 million in just one year.

Champagne wine export drop

The French market, already bearish before the crisis, continues to decline. The United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, the three largest export markets for Champagne wine, also recorded a sharp drop in volume in 2020. However, this drop in exports is mitigated by the relative resilience of traditional continental European markets. There was significant growth in the Australian market as well. Despite a sustained decline, the Champagne’s export markets appear to be more resilient than the French market.

Charles Goemaere

Finally, Champagne’s ability to avoid a much worse hit from the crisis is testimony to the fact that consumers still hold it close to their hearts. “Consumers have been keen to bring a little sparkle into dark days, to treat themselves with quality products when so many other sources of pleasure have been inaccessible. The strength of this emotional bond with consumers is an invitation for both winegrowers and Champagne houses to increase educational efforts around Champagne in 2021 and work to further enhance the appellation’s desirability”, notes Charles Goemaere, General Director.

The Champagne appellation of controlled origin, with which quality, prestige and celebration are associated, constitutes an invaluable heritage. It is a symbol of France in the world. The people of Champagne have been protecting this common heritage for over 150 years.

There are 16 200 winemakers, 130 cooperatives and 360 houses producing Champagne in France. Champagne wine territory constitutes of 34 300 hectares, 3 regions (Grand Est, Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France), 5 departments (Aube, Aisne, Haute-Marne, Marne, Seine-et-Marne), and 319 Crus (communes).

Champagne wine territory

An unusual year

Exports of French wines and spirits suffered from the effects of the global pandemic in 2020. Turnover in the sector fell by 13.9% to €12.1 billion after a record 2019. Nevertheless, the sector remains France’s second biggest trade surplus (€11 billion) after aeronautics. Wine exports decreased by volume (-5.1%) and by value (-11.3%).

Despite suffering a greater decrease in exports than the rest of the sector, Champagne wine retained the second highest turnover among French wines and spirits, accounting by value for 30% of wine exports and 20% of wine and spirit exports combined. Despite a particularly testing 2020, Cognac remains the number one French wine and spirit export, with a turnover of €2.7 billion (-21.4%).

The closure of bars and restaurants, restrictions on celebrations and the cancellation of numerous events have curtailed Champagne sales and consumption, often drastically. The year has been a roller coaster, with very sharp falls (April -68%, May -56%) and equally sharp rises (+50 points between April and June), demonstrating the circumstantial nature of the drop in sales.

Champagne wine shipment

The global pandemic has accelerated the shrinking of the French market, with 2020 marking its tenth consecutive year of decline (-19.9%). The domestic market now accounts for 46.4% of Champagne sales, compared to 47.5% in 2019. The closure of bars, hotels, and restaurants for part of the year, alongside a major drop in supermarket sales, particularly in spring, had a significant impact on sales within France.

Exports also suffered because of the pandemic and the uncertainty that marked 2020. Champagne exports fell by 16.1% to 130.8 million bottles. In contrast to previous years, it was the European Union—including the United Kingdom— that weathered the storm best, with sales dropping 13.4% to 66.2 million bottles. In the rest of the world, the downturn was stronger: 64.6 million bottles were sold, down 18.8% compared to 2019. Export markets now account for 53.6% of Champagne sales (compared to 52.5% last year).

The turnover of Champagne shipments in 2020 reached 4.2 billion euros (excluding taxes, from Champagne), thus shrinking by 16.7% compared to 2019. In France, it stands at 1.6 billion euros (-17.9%) and 2.6 billion euros for exports (-15.9%).

In 2020, for the third consecutive year, Champagne wine exports overtook sales inside France, albeit in a very different context to previous years. Sales outside of France totalled 130.8 million bottles (-16.1%), resulting in a turnover of €2.6 billion (-15.9%). This meant exports accounted for 53.6% of sales by volume (+1.1 points) and 61.0% of turnover (+0.6 points).

Leading markets experiencing difficulty

5 first markets on volume and value of Champagne wine are the UK, the US, Japan, Germany, and Belgium.

Champagne wine markets

The year was marked by severe disruption to Champagne distribution. The closure of bars and restaurants for part of the year forced distributors to reinvent themselves: they developed a whole host of innovative solutions to try to weather the crisis, from food and wine pairings for delivery or to take away to diversification and the growth of online sales.

However, it was not enough to maintain Champagne sales: the United States recorded a drop of 18.8%, the United Kingdom was down 21.7%, and Japan—a country particularly affected by the closure of bars and restaurants—saw volumes fall by 24.5%.

That said, four of Champagne’s leading markets managed to withstand the challenges of 2020 or even post growth: Canada (-5.1%), Belgium (-1.9%), Sweden (+1.0%) and Australia (+11.2%).

Regional pockets of resistance emerge

There were some regional trends towards stability and growth in 2020. The Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) all saw a growth in volumes compared to 2019.

While this trend was less marked in East Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea managed to withstand the crisis, with a fall in exports of less than 10% and growth in the latter case.

Finally, Oceania emerged from 2020 with a clean sheet, thanks to dynamic growth in Australia, stability in New Zealand and the region’s effective handling of the pandemic.

Evolution of Champagne wine shipment

French overseas territories

In 2020, Champagne exports to French overseas territories amounted to 4.1 million bottles, down by 16.4%. As a result of this decrease in volumes, turnover shrank by 16.4% to €58.4 million.

Martinique and Réunion were the two main markets in the French overseas territories, with 1.2 million bottles each, down by 18.7% for Martinique and stable at -0.3% for Réunion. Guadeloupe completed the top three, with 1.0 million bottles (-28.9%).

All the markets experienced a drop in sales, with the exception of New Caledonia (+2.0% at 0.3 million bottles) and Saint Martin (+18.5% at 0.1 million bottles).

Based on the materials of the Committee Champagne.

Dominated by an unprecedented health and economic crisis, 2020 was particularly challenging for the Champagne wine exports worldwide. However the industry is showing real resistance as the report of the Committee Champagne on Champagne wine sales 2020 reveals.

Ukrainian wine hit the headlines of Financial Times

Jancis Robinson gave recommendations to the Londoners, where they may find the wines Shabo and Beykush; as concerns 46 Parallel – she is ready to taste this wine in Kyiv.

Given the number of views counted on drinks.ua for our news that Jancis Robinson tasted wines by three Ukrainian producers, this information was appealing to the many. “This piece of news was lost today on very few,” – one of our friends on FB commented. Indeed, more than two thousand readers during the first three days allowed the publication to become a leader among professional resources. Those were only Easter baking recipes that surpassed it in terms of popularity on gastronomic channels🙂 .

And here’s another piece of news: the tasting of Ukrainian wines initiated by Drinks+ Media Group was featured in the last Saturday issue of the Financial Times. Moreover, Ukraine was even in the headline, which, believe me, is worth much. And even too much🙂. Frankly speaking, our wines were featured along with the exotic Ethiopian ones. But when you get down to it, you understand that, for us, Ethiopia is a flagship, from the perspective of promotion on the international stage. After all, Ethiopia which was an exclusively “coffee country” not so long ago, currently has its national stand at international wine exhibitions, whereas Ukraine is only talking about it (not too confidently and amicably yet) .

So what did the readers of the Financial Times published in 24 cities around the world, read about our wines? In her regular publication, Jancis Robinson focused, again, on six Ukrainian wines offered by Drinks+, which she had previously assessed and described on her website. We should remind our readers that Mrs. Robinson is one of the world’s top-end wine critics and one may appreciate her no-compromise approach to assessing wines as well as her sense of humor, by subscribing to JancisRobinson.com. Jancis is undoubtedly the most talented, but also the most principled wine journalist and writer of our time (co-author of Hugh Johnson’s “World Atlas of Wine”), a regular columnist for the Financial Times since 1989, holder of the Order of the British Empire and honorary advisor to Her Majesty Queen of Great Britain.

Robinson’s principled approach is legendary, culminating in a true story that happened in 2004, when after blind tasting Mrs. Robinson gave 12/20 to Château Pavie vintage 2003. Zest was added to the situation due to the fact that Robert Parker had given 98/100 to that wine coming from St. Emilion (at that time, it was sold at $ 230 in the US stores). Moreover, the tasting notes were unambiguous: “Completely unappetising overripe aromas. Why? Porty sweet. Port is best from the Douro not St. Emilion. Ridiculous wine more reminiscent of a late-harvest Zinfandel than a red Bordeaux with its unappetising green notes. 12/20”.

Thus, despite her inherent rigour, Jancis Robinson gave excellent points to six Ukrainian wines and provided her tasting comments on JancisRobinson.com. In the article published by the Financial Times, she reiterated the impression that the wines had made. Without skirting contentious issues, which primarily related to packaging (which is fixable if our winemakers find these remarks well-grounded), Mrs. Robinson noted that Ukraine had pleasantly surprised her and particularly emphasized the autochthonous Telti Kuruk, calling it the “star of the show”. Due to the fact that FT’s headquarters is located in London, in the end of the article, the columnist also recommended to the Londoners affordable exotic wines (although these wines were not included into the tasting pool) and a place in the UK’s capital, where they could buy such wines: «Shabo, Grande Reserve Saperavi 2015 Ukraine 13.3%. £55.20 Hedonism». In addition, she noted that earlier the same store there was selling – attention! – quotation: Beykush’s seriously good Ukrainian dried-grape blend of Saperavi and Tempranillo”.

Thus, the precedent has been set: Ukrainian wines were in the headlines of one of the world’s oldest and most reputable newspapers. And the most discerning wine critic recommends Ukrainian wines to her readers a priori. Moreover, she is so confident in the new-wave Ukrainian producers that assesses their work as seriously good. Now, perhaps, it’s high time to figure out, which of the Ukrainian wines were tasted by Jancis Robinson and what gave her such confidence.

Jancis Robinson’s tasting pool included six Ukrainian wines by three companies: 46 Parallel, Beykush, and Shabo. As we wrote earlier, she assessed them pursuant to a 20-point scale ranging from Outstanding Wine to Excellent. Note that Jancis Robinson’s comments are addressed to the professionals and can be adequately perceived only by a trained audience. As shoutcasters used to announce: take your children away from the screens!

In other words, we ask the wine neophytes not to disturb: it is only a professional who will understand that there is not always a defect implied by a remark from Robinson. As a rule, this is an ordinary business remark from one of the most principled judges in the world. Incidentally, we would like to speak aside and provide glimpses of Jancis Robinson’s and her team’s fresh impressions of the successful 2020 vintage in Bordeaux, published on JancisRobinson.com: Ch Beychevelle 2020 St-Julien– 16 points; Ch Pichon Baron, Les Tourelles de Longueville 2020 Pauillac – 16 points; Ch Montrose, La Dame de Montrose 2020 St-Estèphe (we should remind you that this wine participated in the landmark Paris tasting organized by Steven Spurrier) – 16.5 points; Ch Léoville Las Cases, La Petite Marquise 2020 St-Julien – 15.5+; Ch Pape Clément 2020 Pessac-Léognan – 16.5+; Ch Lascombes 2020 Margaux – 15.5; Ch Marquis de Terme 2020 Margaux – 15.5; Ch du Glana 2020 St-Julien – 15 … These figures are the points given to the wineries of the sacramental 46 parallel, and are provided here in order to understand, what kind of wine pool the Ukrainian wines got into.

Thus, Jancis Robinson’s note that she was “delighted to taste this sample” and “would love to taste this wine in Kyiv” – should be read as the highest praise. In fact, as we understand, for Jancis Robinson, tasting these wines even became a motivation – though only a desire yet – to come to Ukraine. To be more precise: to come again. I hope we do not give out Jancis’ personal secret, but in one of her letters to Drinks+ editorial board, she told us about her visit to our country: “By the way, in 1970 I visited Odessa, but on the very first night I was woken to a message that cholera outbreak had begun and we had to leave immediately!” And now, more than half a century later, in her comments about two Ukrainian wines, Jancis expressed her readiness to taste them at the place of their origin🙂.

We would venture a guess: it was due to the Ukrainian winemakers, whose new Ukrainian wines had captivated the critic to such extent that the impressions made by the Ukrainian wines supplanted the memories of the turbulent night and the Odessa epidemic in the critic’s mind.

46 Parallel Grand Admiral Brut Nature 2018

46 Parallel Grand Admiral Brut Nature 2018

Drinks+ Files:

100% handwork. Limited edition of 2620 bottles. «Late degorgage» is used in a technology process: discharge of sediment (degorgage) is made as needed, and not for entire batching as a whole. Aged on lees for min 26 months, the subsequent ones are still being aged.

Comments by Mrs. Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com:

16 points.

“Blend of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Traditional method. There is a host of text on the back label but it’s so tiny that, alas, it’s illegible. Not much mousse visible but on the palate there is no shortage of tiny bubbles. Clean but very light nose. The fruit/acid balance has been well judged in terms of dosage; it’s dry enough – just. I would happily drink this at one of Kyiv’s wine bars. Light astringency on the finish but not too much. Light lemon mousse flavour. Perfectly respectable even if a little light on flavor.”

Alcohol 12,3%

When to drink: 2021-2023

46 Parallel Grand Admiral Merlot 2016 

46 Parallel Grand Admiral Merlot 2016 

Drinks+ Files:

Grapes are delivered from Kherson region. Fully manual production and micro wine-making principles. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak with “medium” and “medium+” burning. The highest requirements at all stages of production. It is a limited edition of premium wines produced in Ukraine from grapes of the best suppliers. In 2020, the company’s wines came into the export markets of Canada, China, Nigeria and were represented at the exhibitions in Paris and New York.

Comments by Mrs. Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com:

15,5 points.

“From 20-year-old vines, ‘the best grape suppliers’ and, according to the label, ‘proudly Ukrainian’. This producer makes much of being in the same 46th parallel as Bordeaux. Aged for 24 months in 100% new Bordeaux barriques and then for 12 months in bottle. Limited edition of 272 bottles (one barrique?). This bottle number 251 has a leather neck pennant. Transparent garnet. Pretty mature nose! But definitely sweet, spicy Merlot, plus a bit of sweet, spicy oak. I’d happily drink this in Kyiv. But I suspect it might have had a bit more fruit concentration a year or two ago. Just a little stringy on the finish. But fascinating to have tasted it”.

Alcohol 12,3%

When to drink: 2019-2022

Comments by Anna Gorkun, СЕО and owner of 46 Parallel Wine Group:

“Presenting the wines of such a young company as ours for assessment by such a principled critic as Jancis Robinson was a risky step: after all, so much effort was put into our premium line that, of course, waiting for the world critic’s verdict was tense. But, as many of you might have understood already: we are not looking for simple ways and are bound to get to the top. And, yes, we are confident in our work and proud of it! The production of premium quality wines in a high price segment is a long, risky, and uncompromising process. Given that from the very start, the company has relied on premium, and, therefore, ideal, quality of wines, we use only selected grapes of the highest quality in our production, while controlling all stages of vine cultivation, including, significant reduction of load on grapes clusters and harvesting grapes by hand. In addition, we have been using only new French barrique. All this is implemented in the framework of a very limited release. I am pleased that Jancis Robinson appreciated our wines and even expressed her readiness to taste both samples in Kyiv. I hope it will come true and if advisor to Her Majesty Queen of Great Britain ever comes to Ukraine, we will again have something to surprise her with! I think that in the near future, we will be able to offer our wines in the UK retail, too: it is a promising market for the wines of the class like ours. This is not just acknowledgement; it is a confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. Our goal is to put Ukraine on the world’s winemaking map and worthily confirm our credo “Proudly Ukrainian”. Together with our colleagues – SHABO and Beykush Winery – we demonstrate to the world, once again, that the wine-making Ukraine is entering the world arena. And we also demonstrate to the Ukrainians that domestic wines deserve to be highly appreciated on all continents and preferred in their own homeland. I would like to extend my gratitude Drinks+ for the idea and the realized opportunity to familiarize the English wine critic # 1 with the wines by 46 Parallel Wine Group”.

Shabo Telti-Kuruk Grande Reserve 2017 

Shabo Telti-Kuruk Grande Reserve 2017 

Drinks+ Files:

The wine that gained the status of AOC, vintage varietal dry white wine. Made from autochthonous grapes Telti Kuruk. All stages of production are controlled by international experts of SARL «Derenoncourt» (France). Grapes harvested by hand only from the best micro-plots of unique Shabo terroir when the air temperature is relatively low, carefully placed into the boxes (up to 12 kg per container) and loaded into refrigerated trucks with the temperature between +8 °С and +10 °С. Fifteen minutes later, the grapes are already at the Fine wine department where they pass 3 stages selection. The wine has a refreshing taste with light mineral notes.

Comments by Mrs. Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com:

16 points

“This is apparently an indigenous variety associated with the Ottoman period and the name means ‘fox’s tail’, the shape of the bunches. Shabo is the name of a village near Odessa where winemaking was revived by Swiss colonists in 1822. There are 1,200 ha of vineyards in Shabo. Stéphane Derenoncourt is cited on the back  label.  Numbered bottles. The background notes say that production is always limited to 4,000 bottles but my bottle is number 8,336. Aged in French and Austrian oak for ‘at least nine months’. Hand-picked grapes into small crates. Gravity-fed winery. Shabo is both the name of the producer (founded in 2003) and the village/terroir. Light, fresh nose of almonds. Quite a phenolic grip on the palate but no particular oaky flavour. This is clearly a variety with quite a distinctive minerally character and nobility. There’s a laurel-leaf freshness. I can see why they boast it can last ‘at least five to seven years’. Intriguing! I wonder whether it’s identical to some Turkish grape variety?”

Alcohol: 12,4%

When to drink: 2021-2025

Comments by Giorgi Iukuridze, co-founder and СЕО of SHABO:

“The world community is already very well-familiar with our wines aged 5+ years. They have regularly gained the highest awards at the most prestigious tasting competitions. Including our 2014 Cabernet, which entered the TOP-5 of the world’s best cabernets. In order to achieve such results, our family created SHABO almost 20 years ago. This year, we are presenting a collection of Great wines called Iukuridze Family Wine Heritage. At the same time, at the current stage, our winemakers see a great potential in the 2017 vintage. Therefore, it was interesting for us to receive a feedback on the Grande Reserve wine line. The high appreciation from Jancis Robinson of this still young wine, which has not yet unveiled itself, confirms to us that it has very high chances of becoming the Great wine”.

Beykush Timorasso 2018

Beykush Timorasso 2018

Drinks+ Files:

9 years old vines of Temorasso, which are growing in the unique place, on Cape Beykush, whose shores are washed on one side by Berezansky Liman, on the other by Beykush Bay. The variety was recently considered endangered, at the time of planting in Ukraine there were only 50 hectares in Italy.

100% handwork. Fermentation at 15 °C at stainless steel tanks during 14 days. Aging in French oak barriques for 12 months.

Comments by Mrs. Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com:

15,5 points.

“Family-owned estate of 11 ha. ‘Made in the Ukraine with love … on the Black Sea coast of Mykolaiv region according to the front label. Apparently the vineyard is on a promontory. Who would have thought to have found a varietal Timorasso here? Vines are nine years old. Aged for 12 months in French barriques.

Deep colour and that characteristic ‘burnished’ nose of Timorasso, followed by slight ‘cheesiness’. On the palate it’s a little more ordinary and the oak may not have been tip-top. The phenolics are a little rasping. But the label’s attractive and it’s a very enterprising effort. No shortage of acidity.”

Alcohol: 13,8%

When to drink: 2021-2025

Beykush Kara Kermen 2016 

Beykush Kara Kermen 2016 

Comments by Mrs. Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com:

16,5 points.

“Nine year-old vines in the Mykolaiv region, Chernomorka. 50/50 Saperavi/Tempranillo. Grapes are dried so that they lose 40% of their weight which can apparently take up to 14 days. Dried grapes are slowly pressed, and the resulting wine is aged for 24 months in French oak. I wonder what the potential alcohol of the grapes was when they were picked? Skillful handling of the sweet oak on the nose of this wine. Good balance of ripe fruit and freshness with no apparent residual sugar nor excess of acidity. Very clean, ripe fruit. I don’t think I’d ever be able to pick out the two grape varieties blind but they make a very pleasing whole.”

Alcohol: 14,5%

When to drink: 2020-2025

Comments by Evgeny Shneyderis, owner of Beykush Winery:

“The wine critic, who is at the industry’s top level, has tasted the Ukrainian wines, and assessment of such wines has resulted in establishing that they are on a par with the worthiest European samples. I hope this will help those who still have the [inferiority] complexes related to the wines made in Ukraine, to get rid of them. My special gratitude is extended to Drinks+ for organizing the tasting”.

Note by Drinks+ editorial board

We presume that it would be fair to say “thank you” to Mrs. Jancis Robinson on behalf of the entire Ukrainian wine community: not only did she find time and agreed to taste the Ukrainian wines of the “new wave”, but also told about such wines the readers of one of the world’s most reputable and serious newspapers. The media are the fifth power, which is equally capable of destroying the winemaker’s reputation and lauding it. It is particularly the case, when the world’s class media are implied. We hope that was the moment of truth enabling the Ukrainian winemaking industry to turn over a new leaf in its history.

Jancis Robinson gave recommendations to the Londoners, where they may find the wines Shabo and Beykush; as concerns 46 Parallel – she is ready to taste this wine in Kyiv.

Agricultural products from Andalusia go to Poland

Extenda is committed to Poland as the gateway to Eastern Europe for processed food and agricultural products from Andalusia.

Extenda, the Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia, has organized a new direct commercial mission to Poland focused on promoting transformed agri-food products which has been developed in digital format between April 12 and 16, with the aim of promoting the presence of Andalusian foods in the Polish market and to facilitate contact between the Andalusian business fabric and leading importers and distributors of this industry in the country, so that they can establish lasting contacts that benefit the internationalization of Andalusia which in the past year 2020 exported 266 million euros to Poland in food products and beverages.

This commercial action has included the holding of more than fifty B2B digital meetings between thirteen Polish importers and twelve community firms specialized in transformed agri-food products where they have been able to show and explain the characteristics of their portfolios, mostly from the olive industry, such as oil and olives, the wine industry, such as vinegar, and the meat and fishing industry, with cold meats and shellfish, as well as other agri-food sectors with ecological characteristics.

In addition, apart from high-quality conventional products, Poland appreciates natural products, certified organic products, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan products following the global trend of healthy consumption.

According to Extenda data, Poland represents a market of 38 million potential end customers as well as a good starting point for a business expansion in the Central and Eastern European region.

Besides, Slovakia and Ukraine presented positive growth rates in the import of processed Andalusian agri-food products in the past year 2020.

The Andalusian food processing sector has been represented on this occasion by twelve Andalusian companies. The organization of this action by Extenda-Andalucía Exportación e Inversión Extranjera will be co-financed with funds from the European Union through the P.O. FEDER of Andalusia 2014-2020 endowed with a community contribution of 80%, or any other European Program capable of co-financing this action.

Andalusia’s agri-food exports closed the year 2020 with a new export record, reaching 11,255 million euros, its best historical record since comparable data exist (1995), while contributing a trade surplus of 7,040 million as well to the regional economy.

In the specific case of Poland, agri-food exports to this market reached 266 million euros in 2020 remaining constant with respect to the previous year, with a slight decrease of 0.2%, and with a trade surplus of 207 million which reflects a coverage rate of 453%. These data position Andalusia as the second community in Spain as a supplier of agri-food products to Poland, with 22% of the national total which reaches 1,217 million.

The most imported chapters from Poland were fresh and frozen vegetables, with 171 million euros and 63% of the total; followed by fresh and frozen fruits, with 60 million and 22.6%; canned fruit and vegetables, with 20 million and 7.7%; olive oil, with 7.5 million and 2.8%; and, in fifth place, fish and mollusks, with 1.1 million and 0.4%.

Prepared by Oleksandra Hryhorieva for the materials of extenda.es

Extenda is committed to Poland as the gateway to Eastern Europe for processed food and agricultural products from Andalusia. Extenda, the Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia, has organized a new direct commercial mission to Poland focused on promoting transformed agri-food products which has been developed in digital format between April 12 and 16, with the […]

Wine in Poland: when there is a demand, there is a supply!

Poland has never been, nor has it ever been perceived as, a wine country. But over the past few years, there has been a clear enhancement of interest in both viticulture and wine production.

The consumer interest in wine makes Poland the most important importer of this drink in Europe. Recently, the Polish alcohol market has been developing rapidly and, in the near future, it promises to become the most dynamic one in the world.

According to the Global Compass 2020 report, published by Wine Intelligence, Poland has climbed from the 14th line (attributable to 2019) to the fifth one – after the USA, South Korea, Germany, and China – in the list of the world’s most attractive wine markets.

A sharp spike in the rating can be explained by an increase in a number of the Poles drinking wine and an increase in income, which are taken into account when determining the attractiveness of the wine market, along with other economic and specific indicators. This makes Poland, which is a home to some 38 million people (the country ranked ninth in Europe in terms of population), the most important market on the continent.

Wine traditions

We often associate Poland with beer and vodka, which are attributable to this country’s long-standing  tradition of consumption and production. But few people are aware that this country has its own winemaking culture.

The Poles began cultivating grapes and producing wine as early as in the 10th century. The first wineries were founded by Benedictine monks and wine was produced primarily for religious purposes. The grapes were cultivated in Silesia, Zielona Gora, Poznan, Torun, Plock, Sandomierz, Lublin, and Krakow.

Wine Exhibition

In Poland, hybrid grape varieties were developed that are resistant to unfavorable climatic conditions. They are used along with international ones. The most popular are Rondo, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Cortis, Cascade, and Dornfelder. Although Poland has a continental climate, like the wine regions of Burgundy and the Loire Valley, Rioja, Piedmont and most of the vineyards in Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the climate here is characterized by significant seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations with frost in winter and hail in spring.

The cold climate, short summers with moderate and low temperatures produce grapes with a lower sugar content and higher acidity than those grown in southern Europe.

Polish asset: fruit wines

After World War II, Polish winemaking was developing in two regions: Western (Zielona Gora and Lower Silesia) and Central (along the Pilica River). However, the vineyards planted during the socialist era began to suffer losses, and in the 1960s, the Poles focused on the production of fruit wines.

fruit wines

In Poland, the term “wine” in due legal form includes the fermentation of not only grapes, but also other fruits and berries. The production of this kind of drinks dates back to the 13-th century. The most popular raw materials are apples (Poland is the largest apple producer in Europe and the third one in the world after China and the USA), but cherries, strawberries and raspberries are also often used to make wines. Therefore, in order to ensure that a consumer understands what product he or she intends to buy, the raw materials used (“apple wine”, “cherry wine”) must be indicated on the labels of the Polish fruit and berry wines. These drinks were very popular 20-30 years ago, and they were sold in the volumes of about 400 million liters per year.

The Renaissance era

In the 90s, the country created an image of wine as a luxury item that not everyone could afford. At the beginning of the new millennium, an important event consisted in Poland’s admission to the European Union. In 2004, there was an economic boom, and the free trade market began to develop actively. After 2008, there has been a dynamic growth of the Poles’ well-being, which has become a key driver of development of the wine market.


Over the past ten years, the local tradition of viticulture and winemaking has also revived, leading to the development of small vineyards making excellent wines for the local market. Whereas in 2009, there were 21 vineyards in Poland, nowadays, the number of registered vineyards in the country is 522! Their total area is 617.11 hectares.

D+ files

Today, in Poland, as in most countries of Eastern Europe, enotourism is actively developing. One of the region’s longest-operating media groups – Drinks + has established an international award for the development of wine tourism: Wine Travel Awards, and it invites wineries, guides, producers’ associations and wine routes’ representatives to take part in the contest (for more information, see here). In our opinion, an interesting experience (especially for the Ukrainian winemakers, who are in dire need of consolidation) is the precedent of uniting not only winemakers, but also brewers into one tourist route. The Lower Silesian Vineyard Association and the Lower Silesian Craft Brewers Association established the Lower Silesian Beer and Wine Route (Beer and Wine Droga), which now unites 17 vineyards and 16 breweries. Incidentally, promotion of this association is co-funded from the budget of the Self-Government of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Details: www.dspiw.pl.

The largest Polish vineyards:  

  • Zaborze (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) – 33.4 ha;
  • Turnau (West Pomeranian Voivodeship) – 28 ha;
  • Srebrna Gora (Greater Poland Voivodeship) – 26 ha;
  • Jaworek (Lower Silesian Voivodeship) – 18.50 ha;
  • Gostchorz (Lubusz Voivodeship) – 15 hectares;
  • Silezian (Silesian Voivodeship) – 11 ha;
  • Dembogura (Greater Poland Voivodeship) – 8 ha;
  • Grudek (Podlaskie Voivodeship) – 8 ha;
  • Stecov Family (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) – 7 hectares;
  • Mierzęcin Palace (Lubusz Voivodeship) – 6.72 hectares.

Pallid statistics

According to the Central Statistical Office, the Polish wine market in 2018 was 240 million liters (wine from grapes – about 110 million liters, 30 million liters – flavored and fortified, and 90 million liters – fruit wines).

In 2018, 1.2 million liters were produced. More than 61% of the production output consists of white wines, because in the Polish climate, white varieties of grapes grow better. Producers are also investing their hopes in sparkling wines. It should be noted that a significant amount of cider has been available in the Polish market since 2013.

Poland is in the groove!

“National winemaking is rapidly changing its image,” – Marian Jezewski, wine market expert and president of the Enokultura association, says. “Polish wines have not enjoyed much consumer confidence for a long time, but the number of vineyards and wineries is growing and local wines are becoming more and more popular”.


Polish wines can be found in specialized shops, where a price per bottle sometimes reaches 25 euros. The representative of Drinks+ monitored the attitude towards local wine in the country. According to the distributors, these products no longer go stale.

So, it looks like the modern Polish winemaking has started in the right place and at the right time. Reputable wine publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Intelligence rank Poland as the world’s fifth most attractive wine market. Statistical data demonstrate (Wine Intelligence data) that 54% of the country’s population drink wine once or twice a week, 25% drink wine once or three times a month and 21% – once every two months (in 2015, such figures equaled 45%, 16%, and 39%, respectively). The share of wine is not the largest, it covers only 8% of the total alcohol market. But, for example, if you review the alcohol consumption issue only in Warsaw, here, the wine share is 25%. The largest wine importer is Italy, and the turnover with this country is estimated at 76 million euros.

And although consumption of wine in Poland per capita is still quite low – 4 liters per year, if we compare it with the wine’s per capita consumption in Germany or Great Britain, where the popularity of this drink is declining, we may see that Poland is in the groove.

bottles on the shelf

This interest in wine is supported by a number of events. For ten consecutive years, the international wine competition GALICJA VITIS has been held in Poland (organized by the Foundation for the Development and Promotion of GALICJA VITIS Wines). The idea of ​​this event is to develop wine traditions and establish contacts with wine-making countries in Europe, as well as to popularize wine culture in new wine countries. The GALICJA VITIS competition is also an excellent reason for promoting wines in the Polish market, which becomes more and more interested in such a proposal on the annual basis.

What and how do the Poles drink?

There is still a stereotype that Poland is a vodka-loving country. But in 1991 (after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact), everything began to change. Since then, the consumption of vodka is dropping significantly every year. Nowadays, most Poles drink beer.


According to the results of polls, wine is preferred mainly by representatives of the middle class, who are aged 25–45 years. Poles, unlike Italians and French, do not have the habit of drinking wine during the day. They drink wine when meet with friends on holidays or just at home, during dinner with a family. A tradition has emerged to send a bottle of wine along with an invitation to a wedding. More and more people in the country are drinking wine, mostly of high quality.

In Poland, they do not like excessively tannin and acidic wines; they prefer premium wines from the Italian variety Primitivo (Apulia) and Valpolicella wines, of which ripasso is the favorite one. Prosecco turned out to be the wine that significantly increased Italy’s share in the imported products.

Most often, Poles buy wine in shops. The average price per bottle bought in a supermarket is 15 zlotys (3.3 euros). In specialized stores, it is about 50–55 zlotys (12 euros), and in Warsaw, 65–70 zlotys (15 euros). Only 4% of the total share of wine (now, during the pandemic, it is even lower) is bought in restaurants and bars, since the markup there is significant and, accordingly, the price is high for many Poles. Note that the Poles are mentally similar to the Germans: they are very sensitive to prices.

Wine trends in Poland (Nielsen study)

  1. Wine in small bottles. Sales of wine in bottles with a volume of less than 0.38 liters accounted for 58%, and in bottles larger than 0.75 liters accounted for 9%.
  2. Non-alcoholic wine. The market for non-alcoholic wine has grown tenfold in the recent years. For example, non-alcoholic sparkling wine accounts for 0.4% of sales of the entire Polish wine market.
  3. Dry wines. The Poles give preference to a dry wine more and more often. The sweet wines positions are attributable to dry wines with a distinctive aroma. Sales of dry wines increased by 8% over the year, semi-dry and semi-sweet wines – by 4%.
  4. Prosecco dominates over champagne, which is understandable)). Sparkling wines are very popular in Poland, and prosecco sales reach one third of all sparkling wines (sales have grown by 57% over the last year).

Drinks+ recommendation

Winnica Pod Lipą

  • Górzykowo 44 A, 66-131 Cigacice, Województwolubuskie
  • +48 603 895 333, info@winnicapodlipa.pl
  • www.winnicapodlipa.pl

The owners – Isabella and Zbigniew Tyliczak – named their facilities, including the vineyard, “Pod Lipą” (“Under the Linden”) due to a huge old linden tree growing on top of the vines-planted hill. This 0.5- hectare vineyard was founded in 2008.

In the favorable climate of the Odra River valley, at an altitude of 73 m above sea level, more than 2500 shrubs of noble varieties are grown: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Traminer, as well as Regent and Johanniter hybrids. In 2017, an up-to-date winery with a wine cellar was built. Pod Lipą winery produces wines from hand-selected grapes. Among the products of Isabella and Zbigniew Tyliszak are white wines – Riesling, Traminer and Johanniter, pinot gris, and red wines – pinot noir and regent, which are aged in oak barrels, as well as rosé wine from Regent variety.

Winnica Kinga

  • StaraWieś 28, 67-100 Nowa Sól, Województwolubuskie
  • +48 609 528 581, kinga@winnicakinga.pl
  • winnicakinga.pl

Winnica Kinga is one of the oldest vineyards in Poland. It was founded in 1985. The owner, Mrs. Kowalewska-Koziarska, says: “Our vineyard is an enterprise created by several generations of a family, which is more than 30 years old”. Winnica Kinga’s vineyard area is 2 hectares. Main varieties: Seyval Blanc, Solaris, Muscat, Chardonnay, Regent, Zweigelt, and Pinot Noir. Each year, several types of Winnica Kinga wines are released in the market, and these are mainly blends. Currently, three wines of such type are produced: Remedium Alba 427, Remedium Rose 427, and Remedium Nigrum 427. Winnica Kinga wines are included into the List of Traditional Products of Poland, and most of them are sold directly at the winery.

Winnica Rajska

  • Szczygla 8a, 42-300 Myszków, Województwo śląskie
  • +48 518 057 417, winnicarajska@gmail.com
  • winnicarajska.com

The family vineyard of Antoni Blaszak Winnica Rajska is located in Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska near the Eagle’s Nest Trail. They had started winemaking here in the 90s, but only in 2016, they took it seriously, having planted on an area of more than 1.5 hectares, the varieties which are typical for local winemaking: Siegerrebe, Traminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Johanniter, Solaris, Muscaris, Cabernet Cortis, Cabernet Cantor, and Regent.

In 2018, Antoni Blaszak had registered the vineyard, and a year later, he launched his first wines in the market.

Winnica Mozów

  • Mozów 63, 66-100 Sulechów, Województwo lubuskie
  • +48 660 493 034, kontakt@winnica-mozow.pl
  • winnica-mozow.pl

Winnica Mozów is a family-owned company that recreates regional traditions. The vineyard was founded in 2007 by the great wine enthusiast and wine lover Robert Kukun. The vineyards were planted with vines, which are now used in Western and Central Europe. Currently, the vineyard occupies almost 4 hectares of territory, where the highest quality grapes are grown. Winnica Mozów produces unique wines: dry white Johanniter and Chardonnay, white semi-dry Pinot Gris, white semi-sweet Muscat, rosé semi-dry Pinot Gris and Muscat, red dry Cabernet Cortis, red semi-sweet Leon Millot, sparkling wines Johanniter and Chardonnay.

Text: Maksim Pobivanets, Sommelier, Educator of the Wine School Baku, WSET Level 2,3; Certified Diploma (Court of Master Sommeliers).

Poland has never been, nor has it ever been perceived as, a wine country. But over the past few years, there has been a clear enhancement of interest in both viticulture and wine production.

Climate is changing, Bordeaux is changing, too

The weather in Bordeaux is getting hotter and drier, which calls into question the viability of today’s varieties, providing the quality, characteristics and volume necessary for sustainability in the coming decades. Wine regions must accept this challenge of nature and re-adjust.

The French organization INAO (Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité) has already approved six grape varieties that will be added to the grapes allowed for the production of Bordeaux entry-level wines, AOC Bordeaux and AOC Bordeaux Supérieur. Other categories are expected to follow. The vine-growers hope these innovations will prepare the region for the climate change.

Experiment with new varieties

Studies have been conducted for more than 11 years in an experimental vineyard in Pessac Leognan to determine the suitability of grapes for warmer, drier climates. They have resulted in establishing new, recently approved varieties: Touriga Nacional, Castets, Marselan and Arinarnoa for red wines, and Alvarinho and Lilorila for whites.

Castets is an almost forgotten grape variety from the southwest of France that is naturally resistant to grape diseases and gives vibrant wines suitable for aging.

Touriga Nacional is a complex, full-bodied and aromatic flagship variety from Portugal.

Marselan and Arinarnoa were created decades ago by crossing existing varieties: Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon for the former and Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon for the latter.

Alvarinho and Lilorila are aromatic white grape varieties.


Early ripening berry?

All problems associated with climate change come down to the ideal ripening period, which in Bordeaux falls between 10 September and 10 October. “You make great wines if you harvest in late September or early October, rather than August,” – winemaker Kees van Leeuwen, who is in charge of the project, explains to Wine Spectator. “If the grapes ripen in August or July, in the hottest part of summer, then the berries are unbalanced: too low acidity, too much sugar, weak flavor … Therefore, historically, producers have always planted varieties that ripen in local climatic conditions at the end of the season.”

But with climate change, higher temperatures mean that flowering, veraison and ripening take place earlier and earlier. And there is a risk that one day they will ripen in August.

Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc may be the first victims, experts say. Climatic forecasts predict that Merlot, as an early ripening variety, is to leave its ideal ripening window by 2035-2040. And 66% of Bordeaux’s red wine vineyards are planted with this variety.

The late maturing varieties such as Cabernet and Petit verdot will stay within their ideal window for much longer, until around 2050. “Most of our research should be completed by 2050,” says van Leeuwen.


Not so fast…

“This is an exciting area and illustrates one of the numerous steps Bordeaux is taking to prepare for the future,” Allan Sichel, CEO of négociant Maison Sichel, says. “We are planning to plant some of these varieties soon”.

Does this mean that Cab-Touriga blends will soon be bottled at Château Bordeaux? They will be bottled, but not shorty.

INAO’s permission to cultivate new varieties has significant limitations. They can plant only 5% of the vineyard area, and the grapes of these varieties cannot be more than 10% of the volume in the final mixture. At the same time, the grape varieties will not be indicated on the labels: consumers will not know whether they are drinking wine including new varieties.

The trial period is 10 years. This stage will enable the growers to test the grapes in their fields and cellars. Therefore, it is impossible to say that newly approved varieties are a final choice. Some of them are likely to be rejected, whereas others will be maintained.

New experiments are already underway. “Last year, we planted three Cypriot grape varieties that are very drought tolerant,” – van Leeuwen said. – I think that new varieties are less subject to change if they are chosen correctly. In addition, it will have less impact on the typicality of Bordeaux wines than if we do not change the varieties. “


Will Bordeaux taste like Bordeaux?

It is important to remember that grapes have been changed in the region before. Merlot has only become popular in recent decades. And two centuries ago, dozens of different varieties were grown throughout the region!

Although consumers will not know from the label whether they are participating in this experiment (at least until the end of the trial period), merchants are confident that Bordeaux lovers will appreciate their quality and identity. “The goal is to preserve the characteristics of Bordeaux wines, so there should be no problem selling these wines as a Bordeaux blend,” – Sichel says. However, if nothing is changed, van Leeuwen argues that a wine made from Merlot in Bordeaux in 2050 will taste very different because it will ripen in August, contain 16 per cent of alcohol and have a pH of 4.1.

 По материалам winespectator.com

Фото: terredevins.com, xtrawine.com, vigneron-independant.com, freepik.com

Wine regions must accept this challenge of nature and re-adjust.

The positive 2020

A survey conducted by Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris recorded positive assessments of the past year, made by representatives of the wine business.

A survey of 658 wine producers and 737 wine and gourmet items merchants helped reconstruct the overall picture of 2020 for winemaking and wine sales. Using new tools or distribution channels, winemakers, together with merchants, have flexibly approached the challenges caused by Covid-19. Their assessment of 2020 appeared to be mostly positive.

Most wine and gourmet items merchants (60%) said their revenue was good. 55% of them reported sales growth, and 15% reported that sales were even more stable compared to 2019. During the holiday season of the last quarter of 2020, 58% of wine and gourmet items merchants witnessed a clear increase in sales over the previous year.

As for winemakers, 34% of respondents consider their results to be positive, and 22% – stable compared to 2019.

Dynamic approach to business development

Wine and gourmet items merchants have been able to adapt to security measures which are being implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic, by offering new services, including online sales (18%) and home delivery (20%), even after working hours (5%), as well as Click & Collect system. This helped them hold out with virtually no sales at large private events (weddings, anniversaries) and trade events (exhibitions, tastings).

Winemakers also showed initiative and creativity: 35% of them created their own sites for online sales during this period, 22% joined the existing Internet platforms, and 17% expanded sales to cover wine and gourmet items merchants. Overall, 67% of winemakers have found new distribution channels.

Still wines and spirits come out on top

Red and white wines had the best sales figures even compared to 2019, which is probably due to the role they played as “moral support” during the isolation. They showed almost the same results: sales of red wines increased by 53%, whereas sales of whites – by 55%.

Spirits also saw an increase in sales, rising 50% in popularity and confirming significant growth over the past few years.

However, sparkling wines, which are usually used at festive and public events, on the contrary, have suffered during the period of quarantine and isolation.

There are strong players in the world of wine!

While 66% of wine and gourmet items merchants are optimistic about the future, winemakers continue to express some concern. However, they show resilience: 65% of them want to maintain and develop their new distribution channels, including digital technologies.

The Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris survey showed a sufficient margin of safety for the wine market players and showed that this inherently resilient sector, with the support of consumers who continued to buy wines and other spirits, has been able to successfully restructure to bounce back and develop further.

A survey conducted by Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris recorded positive assessments of the past year, made by representatives of the wine business.

Wine exports from Austria: rapid growth

AWMB published the last decade’s monitoring.

Austria’s wine exports entered a new dimension in 2019. For the first time ever, exports surpassed the 180 million euro mark with a record 183 million euros (+8%), while volume shot up 20% to 63 million litres. The number of export countries rose to 102, in contrast to the 64 countries in 2009. As the latest figures from Statistics Austria show, the strong 2018 vintage in terms of volume fuelled exports in 2019. An 8% increase in revenue represented a new record of 182.9 million euros, while sales increased by 20% to 63.3 million litres. The volume of the 2018 harvest was approximately 15% higher than the 15-year average. This resulted in more wine being available in the entry-level price segment (sold primarily in price-sensitive markets such as Germany), which led to a drop in average price to €2.89 (2018: €3.22).

Alongside the leading export countries of Germany (+1.6%), Switzerland (+0.5%) and the USA (+14.8%), strong to very strong sales growth was also seen in the Netherlands (+31.6%) and throughout Scandinavia, with the exception of Norway. While the average price in Germany came under pressure, it continued to rise in many EU member states and third countries. In the Far East, the promising market of China recorded very high sales growth (+86.8%) and good growth (+12.6%) was also seen in Japan, after years of stagnation.

This increase in sales was primarily driven by Austrian white wine. In terms of revenue, bottled red wine grew remarkably well, which is testimony to the increasing recognition that the unique styles of Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch (to name but two) are attracting in the international marketplace.

*AWMB, based on Statistics Austria Final Export Data 2019; as at June 2020. Data from 2017 onwards is based on updated EU customs tariff numbers. The data capture method used by Statistics Austria includes re-exports of non-Austrian wine.

Domestic sparkling wine, on the other hand, suffered losses – with the exception of Norway and the United Kingdom, for example, which saw strong growth in Sekt imports. Semi-sparkling wine, on the other hand, showed a double-digit growth rate.

The growth in the number of export countries is also very encouraging: while Austrian winegrowers exported to 64 countries in 2009, this number reached 102 in 2019. For many years, the AWMB’s export strategy has been focused on positioning Austrian wine on a large number of international markets.

Volume share of bulk and bottled wine exports 2000-2019*

This strategy provides a buffer for fluctuations in individual markets while ensuring sustainable growth in exports overall. The share of exports represented by bottled wine amounts to 78% by volume and 94% by value. This development is of essential importance to the Austrian wine industry.

Since entering the EU, all Statistics Austria data relating to the EU have been based purely on statistical declarations by exporters and on Intrastat reports.

Intrastat declarations must be submitted by companies with imports or exports of goods from or to EU member states exceeding the assimilation threshold of €750,000 in the previous year. Small deliveries and exports in private cars are not captured. The reliability of the statistics is therefore not absolute.

Import and export volumes by country*


Sourse: AUSTRIAN WINE STATISTICS REPORT 2019, www.austrianwine.com, ©AWMB

The lower threshold for the reporting requirement is different for each EU member state. The import figures fluctuate as a function of the high share of bulk in both volume and value terms, depending on the Austrian harvest. Conversely, for Austrian exports the share of bulk has dropped considerably, which has led to continuous increases in export values.

Based on AUSTRIAN WINE STATISTICS REPORT 2019, www.austrianwine.com, ©AWMB

Фото: ÖWM/Anna Stöcher

AWMB published the last decade’s monitoring: Austria’s wine exports entered a new dimension in 2019.