Romania is one of the leading wine producers in Europe and the world. It is the fourth country among the EU countries, following Spain, France and Italy, in the cultivated vine area, and is the sixth EU wine producer after France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal. It also holds the 10th place worldwide in terms of cultivated vine area and the 12th in terms of wine production. The areas under vines in Romania remain stable in recent years and amounted to approximately 192,000 hectares, of which 180,000 are intended for the wine production.
According to recent data published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania, the country’s wine sector accounts for 4% of total agricultural production and wine is one of the products that are exported around the world. White wine represents around 70% of the country’s total production, while red wine accounts for around 28%. The remaining production concerns rose.
The vineyards stretch across the country and their type depends mainly on the local climatic conditions. The main vineyards are situated in the mountain ranges of Moldova and the hills of Muntenia and Dobrogea.
The main varieties grown in Romania are the red Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and the white Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Italian Riesling, Traimer, Aligote, Muscat Ottonei. In Romania are also produced domestic varieties of red wines, such as Feteasca Neagra and Babeasca, and white, such as Feteasca Regala, Francusa, Grasa de Cotnari, Galbena Busuioaca and Tamaioasa.
It is worth mentioned that Romania absorbed a whole European funding for the period 2007-2013 for the modernization of vineyards. This positive impact to viticulture led to the increase of the available EU funds for the period 2014-2018, which amounted to 238.5 million euros (i.e. 47.7 million euros per year).
Exports – Imports
Wine exports in 2014 amounted to 10,500 tonnes, of which 7,700 were exports to countries in the EU Member States. The share of Romania’s exports relative to total production is lower than that of other neighboring countries such as Moldova, Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia. The value of total Romanian wine exports for 2014 amounted to 18 million euros.
Romanian wine imports came mainly from Spain, Moldova and Bulgaria, as the imported quantities from these countries account for about 85% of total imports. Imports from 10 major countries account for 91% of total value of imports.
Romania’s annual per capita wine consumption stands at 20 to 24 liters, of which 1/5 concerns bottled wine. This means that the main quantity of consumption corresponds to bulk wine. Nevertheless, wine is one of the most popular spirits of Romanian consumers. Men consumers have a strong preference to domestic wines (69%), while women prefer, mainly wines from France, Italy or even Spain.