Austrian wine producers are celebrating a stellar year, as the latest figures from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (ÖWM) show that 2017’s exports broke the €150m ($185m) barrier for the first time – reaching an all-time high of €158.6m, while the average per litre price reached a record €3.39.
Austria has pursued a two-pronged premiumisation strategy, developed by the ÖWM, to develop both quality and winemaking flexibility. The strategy has included developing the DAC, or regional styles. In the past half decade, wine producers have made a particular effort to move away from the bulk wine category.
The new value levels were reached even though the 2016 harvest was a challenging one, with heavy losses due to frost experienced in some regions; the 46.8m L represented an overall decline of 3.3% compared to the previous year.
“But this bad news was more than compensated for by the good news – a remarkable increase in total export value,” according to a statement from the ÖWM. “With the record sum of €158.6, Austria can report an impressive 7.4% growth, taking into account here that re-exports of non-Austrian wines (which flow into the total export statistics) grew as well.”
The statement said that especially positive export figures were recorded for Scandinavia and the Benelux markets, “as well as for the United Kingdom, which for the first time imported more than a million litres of wine from Austria.” China, Canada and Russia were also significant markets.