Austrian Wine Marketing Board head Willi Klinger was in London today (February 8) for a major tasting. He said an export record of Euros126 million, an increase of 2.6% was set for 2011. This was after two short vintages in 2009 and 2010.
Total export estimates were 46.5m litres, a 25% drop but the increase in value had meant the average price for a litre of Austrian wine has risen from Euro1.98 in 2010 to Euro2.71. Exported bulk sales have dropped 57% to 7.5m ltrs, down 25% by value.
Klinger said: The wines are no longer offered at giveaway prices. There are fewer special offers at the lowest prices – a segment for which Austria, we cannot produce cost effectively and nor do we want to do this.”
The 2011 harvest came in at 2.45m hectolitres, 41% more than the previous year. Austria has 45,780 hectares under vine and approximately 20,000 growers. Only 19 estates produce in excess of 1m litres while 3,852 produce between 5,000 and 10,000 litres according to the AWMB. Austrian production and consumption is pretty much in balance at 250m litres but it imports between 50 and 70m litres of wine.
On the news that New Zealand is producing and promoting Gruner Veltliner, Austria’s flagship grape variety, Klinger hailed it as a “great idea. It will help us to get more English speaking people to try Gruner Veltliner.”