Josip Jezic von Gesseneck    2016-10-20

Romania, Croatia battle Europe weather to rally wine production

Production is still small, but growing, in contrast to the rest of Europe

Regional, Agriculture

Romanian wine production in 2016 up by 36%.

While world wine production is the lowest in the past 20 years, Romanian wine production is up by 37% in 2016 compared to the past year, according to the International Vine and Wine Organization (IVO). More tempered weather in Croatia has also limited yields, but the production quality may be more favorable thanks to lower thermal stresses.

Romania's wine production is still limited at about 5 million hectoliters compared to the global production of 260 million hectoliters. However this unique position allows Romania to take care of its very favorable geo-climate conditions and vine varieties while continuing to foster traditional practices. Original article

Although production levels have also dipped in Croatia compared to two years ago, the more modest temperatures have also resulted in more favourable sugar-acid contents. Original article

By combining best traditional know-how with new environmentally-responsible, Romania can target niche yet growing segments of the EU and global market. Supporting production also at the micro- and small-scale allows for economic inclusion of all layers of the Romanian wine and agriculture sector, more broadly.

Croatia has seen an expansion in its organic area of 377% from 2010 to 2015 (from 16,000 hectares to almost 76,000) (Eurostat). This has been the largest growth in the EU, followed by 362% in Bulgaria. However the proportion of organic to total farming land of Croatia is still slightly below the EU average, which has also grown in the five-year period to 6.2% in 2015, at 4.9%, and significantly behind the leaders Austria, Sweden and Estonia at around 15%. Original article

The position of Romania, Croatia and other neighbouring producers in the EU market, especially in the wine and other agro-alimetnary sectors, will be very interesting to follow in the coming years. Meanwhile CHAMBER.BE continues to support the players at the national and regional level at both the business and a more strategic level. ■