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2021: The greatest export growth in the history of Austrian wine

A major success for Austrian wine exports: in 2021, revenue rose by €29.5 million to €216.8 million (+15.7%), recording the greatest growth in value of all time. The quantity exported increased by 3.8% to 70.2 million litres. Exports were mainly driven by Austria’s white Qualitätswein (quality wine). While growth was recorded in EU countries, it was particularly strong in countries outside the EU, such as the USA, Canada and China.

A graph shows the development of Austria's wine exports 1985-2021. Source: Statistics Austria (as of March 2022).
© Austrian Wine
Source: Statistics Austria, preliminary export figures I-XII 2021 (as at March 2022). The data capture method used by Statistics Austria also includes re-exports of non-Austrian wine.

The wine export figures recorded by Statistics Austria for the whole of 2021 exceeded all expectations. The €200 million mark was topped for the first time in history, and the €29.5 million increase to €216.8 million (+15.7%) is the highest rise in value ever recorded for Austria’s wine exports. It also significantly surpassed the increase in quantities exported (+3.8% up to 70.2 million litres). This also meant that Austria’s average export price grew.

“The export figures for 2021 are a huge success for the whole of the Austrian wine sector!” reports Chris Yorke, CEO of Austrian Wine (Austrian Wine Marketing Board). “What is particularly significant is that we were able to achieve such a high increase in value. That is, after all, the ultimate aim of our efforts: to boost value for our winegrowers.”

Johannes Schmuckenschlager, President of Austria’s Winegrowers Association, is also pleased: “Thanks to the outstanding work done by our winegrowers, exports have been on a steadily rising trajectory for a number of years now. Together, we are taking advantage of this growth potential to make Austrian wines more widely known outside of Austria. One thing is clear: choosing Austrian wine is a guarantee of top quality and sheer enjoyment. This is increasingly being recognised around the world.”

White Qualitätswein in great demand

An area in which particularly strong growth was seen was the export value of Austria’s bottled white Qualitätswein. With growth at 23%, these wines, which represent over half the revenue from Austrian exports, played the leading role in this historic success. Bottled red Qualitätswein also enjoyed growth (+3.1% in value), and this was even more marked in the sparkling wines category (+34% in value).

“It is clear that Austria is well placed when it comes to exports,” Yorke commented. “We export to 100 countries but have recently focused our efforts more on our Top 10 markets. With the diversity of styles of wine we offer we are able to appeal to different markets and different preferences in terms of taste. Plus, a growing number of wine lovers around the world are realising that there’s hardly any other country that offers such consistent quality across the full spectrum of wine styles.”

A graphic shows the increase in export value 2021 by product group (in bottles). Source: Statistics Austria (as at March 2022).
© Austrian Wine
Source: Statistics Austria, preliminary export figures I-XII 2021 (as at March 2022).

Top 3: Germany, Switzerland and the USA

In Germany, the largest export market, value rose by 9.6% – a remarkable development in a market that is so price sensitive. Revenue from exports also increased in Switzerland, the second most important market, by 16.1% and in the USA by 23.1%, moving the United States ahead of the Netherlands (+16.8%) to take the third spot among the most significant export destinations.

Rapid growth in Canada and China

In general, growth was enjoyed in all the main export markets, including Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian markets (with the exception of Finland). As already seen in 2020, Canada enjoyed very high growth: an increase in value of 65.3% has catapulted the country to seventh place. China just missed out on making it into the top 10, although the major increase in revenue of 77.9% did confirm the expectations that this is a promising market for the future.

A map shows Austria's top 10 wine export countries 2021 (share of total sales value). Source: Statistics Austria (as of March 2022).
© Austrian Wine
Source: Statistics Austria, preliminary export figures I-XII 2021 (as at March 2022).

The global reopening of the hospitality industry was key

A key factor in the strong growth in exports was the reopening of the hospitality industry around the world after the coronavirus-related lockdowns in 2020. Austria’s wine producers were able to sell their high-quality wines through these distribution channels and thereby achieve a high revenue.

Austrian Wine: over 4,600 wines showcased internationally

Austrian Wine supported Austria’s winegrowers in their efforts to increase exports with over 100 events around the world in 2021, either staged as virtual, hybrid events or events held on location, depending upon the situation in the particular market. As a result of these events, Austrian Wine managed to present more than 4,600 wines from 600 different wineries over the course of the year.

Facts
Wine exports 2021

(source: Statistics Austria)

  • Highest ever increase in export value
  • Export value 2021: €216.8 million; €29.5 million (+15.7%) up on 2020
  • Export volume 2021: 70.2 million litres (3.8% up on 2020)
  • Avg. price 2021: €3.09 per litre (€0.31 up on 2020)
  • Austria’s winegrowers were able to increase sales of their high-quality wines in the international hospitality industry once it reopened.

 

Export at a glance
  • Growth in EU countries, but still stronger growth countries outside in the EU
  • Top 3 export markets: Germany, Switzerland and the USA
  • Major increases in Canada and China
  • Bottled white Qualitätswein in high demand; growth in value for bottled red Qualitätswein and sparkling wines

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