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Posted: Tuesday, 10 November 2010 15:50

Austria ’10 to be More Expensive

Austrian wine lovers should get ready to pay more for the 2010 vintage, especially the white, since the Austrian 2010 harvest is expected to deliver one of the lowest yields in nearly 20 years; lower than the total normal wine consumption in Austria, thus putting immense pressure on the export quantity as well as resulting in an unusual price rise.

According to Statistik Austria, figures at the end of October point to a total production volume of 1.76 million hL- approximately 30% lower than the average annual yield of 2.5 million hL. The Austrian Viticulture Association, Österreichischer Weinbauverband has confirmed this report.

“This year's quantity is lower than the total normal wine consumption in Austria, which is an average of 2.4 million hL per year,” says Josef Pleil, President of the Austrian Viticulture Association. “It is especially dramatic for white wine, because there is no stock at present due to the low harvest also in 2009.”

The poor harvest is a result of bad weather during the flowering period and a difficult fruit set. The low volume clearly had a significant influence on the development of grape prices. “The price of grapes doubled, even tripled this year,” explains Gerhard Wohlmuth, head of the wine and spirit trade committee of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (WKÖ),. “We have to adapt our wine prices to the prices for raw material. It is inevitable that the price increases will at least partially be passed on to the customer,” says Gerhard.

The increase in prices is expected to hurt the market share of Austrian wines; especially the whites- Austria is quite popular for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling besides the sweet wines. The fall will be dramatic in the entry level segment, where there is already a glut of grapes and wines from the rest of the world are under price pressure due to over-production despite grubbing of vines in the EU.
Willi Klinger, head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board which has been working overtime during the last few years to find a respectable place in the world wine map, agrees. “There will be a loss of market share especially in the entry level price segment,” he says.

For the first time, we're not expecting any growth in export volume in 2011. But I am convinced that the average export price will rise in 2011, which will be strategically positive for the future,’ a very tough task indeed in today’s scenario.
But Willi is optimistic that the better quality this year will help improve he image of Brand Austria.’ It is very pleasing that, from this year's low harvest quantity, we can expect wines with outstanding fruitiness and pure aromas. Our winemakers performed brilliant work’, he opines.

Source: Wines from Austria


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