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2021: new roads to success in wine marketing

Austria’s wine industry suffered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic again in 2021. Austrian Wine reacted by introducing new targeted measures, including support for the domestic on-trade. On an international level, it ramped up demand for Austrian wine with events tailored to specific markets – 2021 could even report a new export record.

The 2021 annual report is now available (in German) and provides detailed insight into the strategy  of Austrian Wine, as well as the measures implemented both at home and abroad. Supporting the channels that remained open was key – nationally and internationally – with a particular focus on the domestic hospitality industry.

Wine sales ramped up around the world

Austrian Wine targeted their efforts on supporting wine exports again in 2021. Restrictions relating to the coronavirus were relaxed at different times in each export market, so Austrian Wine had to develop specific initiatives tailored to the market situation.

In total, Austrian Wine was able to present more than 2,800 wines from 385 wineries across 107 events in the export markets – not including Germany. Highlights of the year included the “Stay-at-Home Tastings” in Great Britain, Poland and Ontario. Guests put together their own individual wine package in advance of these tastings, which Austrian Wine then shipped to them at home. On the day of the event, the audience of wine professionals was able to taste the wines along with the winemakers, via an online platform.

Austrian Wine also organised large-scale restaurant and retail campaigns to ramp up sales of Austrian wines in countries such as Great Britain, the USA and Russia, placing almost 400 Austrian wineries in the spotlight.

The largest event of 2021: Austrian Tasting in Switzerland

Switzerland, the second most significant export market, played host to Austrian Wine’s biggest event of 2021 – the Austrian Tasting in Zurich. Over 600 guests attended the in-person event at the end of August, which showcased 103 wineries. The second part of the event took place virtually as an online tasting in mid-October. 

Online and in-person events in Germany

In the key export market of Germany, Austrian Wine managed to host 35 events, showcasing over 1,100 wines from more than 300 wineries. Of these events, 13 took place virtually due to the coronavirus situation, including the Austrian Tasting in Germany (event), for which Austrian wine sent 362 wine packages to its audience of wine professionals. Austrian Wine presented a further 1,300 wines from 271 wineries to German consumers using online promotions, in association with five major wine retail companies. 

At the beginning of September, Austrian Wine took over Munich for the weekend-long Auf a Achterl durch München (Munich with a glass of wine) campaign. During the weekend, 11 in-person events showcased 120 different wines and 3,000 city maps were handed out, marking 63 special places with a connection to Austrian Wine.


Record export value of €200 million could be achieved

Export levels were encouraging, showing a clear upwards trend throughout the first three quarters of 2021. 52.8 million litres of wine were exported at a value of €162.7 million, which correlates to a 5.5% increase in volume and an 18.1% increase in value.
The top three export countries of Germany (+12.2% in value), Switzerland (+15.5% in value) and the USA (+26.7% in value) performed very well.

Figures for the final quarter are not yet available. However, there are good signs that the record value of €200 million, which Austrian Wine set as a medium-term target, could have been broken in 2021, despite the pandemic.

Valuable media presence

Throughout the year, more than 5,800 media outlets around the world posted 21,200 articles that reported on wine from Austria. This media presence had an advertising equivalent value of €277.3 million.

austrianvineyards.com: the first digital wine atlas mapping an entire wine-producing country

A particular highlight in 2021 was the release of the new Ried (single vineyard) maps after a three-year-long project in association with the University of Vienna. The launch of austrianvineyards.com means that Austria is the first country to have a digital atlas mapping an entire winegrowing nation! The cartographic quality of the printed maps also represents a new milestone in this area.

Domestic campaign focus: Austria’s hospitality industry

With the winter season almost a total write-off and restaurants closed until May, Austria’s winemakers experienced an extremely rocky start to 2021. Sales of their high-quality wine suffered in particular as on-trade is still their most important sales channel for this segment. At the beginning of the year, Austrian Wine developed progressive measures in order to support the hospitality industry. Among the highlights was the Österreich Wein lädt ein (an invitation from Austrian Wine) campaign, which attracted thousands of Austrians to dine out, as well as the Österreich glasweise (Austria by the glass) competition, which gave restaurants an incentive to serve and promote more Austrian wines.

To combat the restrained number of tourists travelling to Austria, Austrian Wine lured travellers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to visit the wine-growing regions with the Auf zum Wein (all aboard for wine) campaign, as it did previously in 2020. Another campaign that was aimed at end consumers was the Winzerjahr (a year in the life of a winemaker). Throughout the year, Austrian Wine presented videos about the craft of domestic winemakers to customers on Facebook and Instagram, fostering greater appreciation for Austrian wines.

Austrian Wine achieved over 150 million views throughout the DACH region with these four primary campaigns.

Domestic market: retail slightly up, on-trade losses not completely recouped

Austrian Wine also supported retail by boosting demand for domestic wines. The SALON Österreich Wein competition was instrumental to this again in 2021. A record number of wines were submitted, from which the 270 SALON wines and 17 SALON winners were decided by a blind tasting marathon. 

After significant growth in 2020, sales rose again slightly in 2021: the off-trade saw the sale of Austrian wines grow by 2.5% in the first three quarters of the year. However, this could not mitigate the losses incurred by the on-trade.


Austrian Wine Annual Report 2021 (German only)

Austrian Wine Marketing Board


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