The Romanian wine industry developed in 2023. The number of domestic wineries increased by over 10%

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Bucharest, February 15, 2024# RBJ – The wine industry in Romania continues its ascent, with over 50 new wineries being authorized in the last 10 months, according to ONVPV data, analyzed by Wines of Romania. Wine production was also 15% higher than in 2022, although it came from a slightly reduced total vine area compared to previous years.
This year, at the end of January, the list of wineries authorized to produce wines with Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), Geographical Indication (GI) or varietal wines reached 473, up from 422 registered in April 2023.

Local varieties, increasingly preferred by producers

According to the data aggregated by Wines of Romania, it can be seen that in the last three years producers have shifted their attention to local varieties, for which there is an increasing trend in terms of cultivated areas, while the areas cultivated with international varieties , star grapes, were slightly reduced. It has also increased the appetite of local producers for the cultivation of less common varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Franc or Viognier.

“We notice that a tendency towards the revaluation of local varieties is emerging, timidly, but obviously. The domestic market will not be able to fully absorb wine production, and orientation towards international markets is becoming more and more plausible. Consumers in these markets are increasingly attracted to local and regional varieties, which reflect the identity and specificity of the area of origin. In parallel, there is an increase in the interest of local consumers for the diversity of the offer, a fact that indicates an incipient patrimonialization of local varieties. We hope that this evolution will lead to not only increased but also more refined wine consumption in the years to come” Marinela Ardelean, international wine expert and founder of the Wines Of Romania platform.

What does the area of vines look like in Romania

Among the “international grapes”, the only one with a positive evolution in terms of cultivated area in 2023 was Chardonnay, with an increase of 50 hectares last year and currently reaching a total of 2077 hectares.

When it comes to local varieties, the most significant increase in cultivation area was recorded by the Bohotin Basil, from 785 to 912 hectares, while the most cultivated Romanian variety, Feteasca regală, consolidated its position, growing in 2023 from 12,007 to 12,083 hectares. And the Feteasca neagra variety grew from 3316 to 3384 hectares, while the new star from Oltenia, Negru de Drăgășani, registered an increase from 62 to 68 hectares.
Instead, Feteasca albă lost more than 100 hectares, reaching from 12,032 hectares in 2021 to 11,931 hectares at the end of 2023. A decrease of 30 hectares in the cultivated area was also experienced by the more rustic variety – Crâmpoșia. For the other Romanian varieties, the surfaces remained similar.

The international varieties have largely remained at similar cultivated areas to those recorded in the last three years. More significant variations were recorded in the Aligote variety, with a decrease of almost 80 hectares, but also in Merlot, Pinot gris, Sauvignon blanc and Italian Riesling whose cultivated areas decreased slightly, with only 30-40 hectares each.
As a novelty of recent years, the preferences of Romanian producers have turned to varieties less popular in Romania, but which can have more interesting results in the terroirs where they are grown. Thus, the Syrah variety grew by 28 hectares, Viognier almost doubled its area, from 27 to 43 hectares, Riesling de Rhine grew by almost 70 hectares, and Cabernet Franc gained another 23 hectares, from 145 for a total of 168 hectares.

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Wines of Romania is a 100% private project, strongly anchored in the sustainable development of the local and international success of Romanian wine. Founded by Marinela Ardelean, wine expert and co-organizer of the RO-WINE festival, the Wines of Romania platform represents a digital universe dedicated to local wines, wine lovers, buyers, producers and investors.

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