- Published on Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:26
- Written by Carol Emmas
Moser from Laurenz V gave his keynote speech, Grüner for the World, at the symposium, which was held in Poysdorf, Lower Austria. He said while other countries were making making real progress with Austria’s signature white grape variety, he warned that Austria was at risk of losing its dominating position globally.
He said there has been a real U‐turn in the cultivation of of the grape in Austria: in the 1980s, the total recorded vineyard area of Grüner Veltliner was at its peak with 20,000ha. Today, this figure lies at around 13,500ha.
He added, at the same time, leading wineries active in export have concentrated on promoting Grüner Veltliner over the past 10 years, despite a drastic reduction in supply.
According to Moser, the 30% reduction of Grüner vines, coupled with the low‐yielding 2010 and 2012 harvests, have resulted in a serious shortage of wine and an unprecedented explosion in the market prices of Grüner Veltliner grapes and bulk wine, for example, €1.50 for a kilo of Grüner grapes and a litre of Grüner wine marked at €2.
He said: “It’s all about maintaining Austria’s leading position with Grüner in both vineyard area and marketing. This has been threatened by the illogical planning of vineyards over the past 15 years – red wine has replaced white wine, with Grüner suffering the most.
“The outcome is to be priced out of the market. Here in Austria, the effects are dramatic; the whole entry‐level wine segment is dominated by imported wines. Abroad, where Austria has to compete with all of the world’s wine varieties, there’s very little leeway, as confirmed by the latest Austrian Wine Marketing Board figures, that illustrate a reduction in volume for the German market in particular," he said.
His research confirms that the international vineyard area of Grüner is growing
rapidly. There are currently 20,000ha recorded worldwide (as of October 2012), with New Zealand and USA both likely to note further increases.
Moser says that it’s all about reinforcing the benchmark and the number-one position. "This still needs to happen in Austria, but we should also know that New Zealand and Australia can react quickly. It’s also a difference, if we can defend our position and establish a benchmark with 13,500ha of Grüner, as Germany can with Riesling with double the total vineyard area.”
Moser called the New Zealand model "quite exemplarily", after it developed from virtually no existing wine production to an annual output of 2 million hl within 30 years and a 60% export share and a firm market positioning in premium categories.
The advice from Moser to Austrian producers is to “plant more Grüner”.