Eurostat, the European Union statistics office, has just published its latest figures, based on the most recent EU survey on the structure of the winegrowing sector (carried out every five years). The figures are interesting, and sometimes even rather surprising!
2.4 million holdings cultivating 3.2 million hectares (ha) in the EU:
In 2015, the European Union recorded 2.4 million holdings cultivating 3.2 million hectares (ha) of vineyards. The average area per holding was 1.3 hectares, with significant discrepancies between different countries.
The overwhelming majority of land, 2.5 million hectares (78%), was dedicated to producing quality wines. This includes PDO wines (Protected Designation of Origin), and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication – with less stringent requirements than PDO). Across the whole of the EU, more than 80% of land producing quality wines is under the PDO system (82.9%) while the PGI system represents less than a fifth of this area (17.1%).
Spain, France and Italy accounted for three quarters of vineyard area in the European Union. Spain had 941,000 hectares, 30% of the EU total surface area; France had 803 hectares of vineyards, a quarter of the total; and in 2010, Italy was cultivating 610,000 hectares, 19%. Behind them come Portugal, (199,000 ha, 6%), Romania (184,000, 6%) and Greece and Germany (about 103 ha each, 3%).
Top 10 European regions by surface area:
Broken down into regions, in terms of surface area, Castilla-la Mancha in Spain (434,000 ha) is ranked top by a long way, representing almost 14% of the total vineyard area in the EU. Languedoc-Roussillon comes next (239, 000 ha, 7%) followed by Aquitaine (144,000 ha, 5%).
The country with the highest number of vineyard holdings is… Romania!
Did you know which country has the highest number of vineyards? It’s Romania! The country registered 855,000 holdings, 36% of the total in the EU. Romania therefore comes ahead of Spain (518,000 vineyards, 22%), Italy (299,000 vineyards in 2010, 12%), Portugal (212,000 vineyards, 9%) and Greece (189,000 vineyards, 8%). Note though that Romania is the only country in Europe where the share of quality wines in relation to total vineyard area was – considerably – less than half (27.7%).
While the largest wine producing properties are in France
The largest properties are in France, where the average surface area was 10.5 ha. This is followed by Luxembourg (4.0 ha), Austria (3.2 ha), the United Kingdom (3.1 ha), Germany (2.4 ha), Italy and Slovakia (2.0 ha each), Spain and Hungary (1.8 ha each). When it comes to the smallest holdings, average surface areas of less than a hectare can be found in Romania (0.2 ha), Malta (0.3 ha), Croatia (0.4 ha), Greece, Cyprus, and Slovenia (0.5 ha each) and Portugal (0.9 ha).
For more information, read the report from Eurostat (In French, 04/04/2017)
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