AUSTRIAN HARVEST 2010 LOWEST IN 20 YEARS?
The Austrian 2010 harvest is expected to deliver one of the lowest yields in nearly 20 years. According to Statistik Austria, figures as of the end of October are pointing to a total volume of 1.76 million hectoliters, which is 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 association. “It is especially dramatic for white wine, because there is none in stock at present due to the low harvest also in 2009.”
Price Increases in All Segments
The small 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 in the Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (WKÖ), the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. “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.”
Loss of Market Share in the Entry Level Segment
“There will be a loss of market share especially in the entry level price segment,” says Willi Klinger, head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. “And for 2011 – for the first time, we’re not expecting any growth in export volume. But I am convinced that the average export price will rise in 2011, which will be strategically positive for the future. In any case, 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.”
The Statistik Austria harvest report can be downloaded HERE