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Greek wine producers toast increased business February 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Wine And Spirits.
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Greek wine producers toast rise in consumption and promotion > Bucking the European trend, the consumption of wine has increased in the Greek market in recent years, reaching 3.7 million hectoliters, from 3.2 million hl in 2005, a Hellastat survey suggested.

Today in Greece there are 300 varieties of grape cultivated by 150,000 farmers, with production reaching 400 wine producers, the survey adds.

In the 1990s, the number of wine producers rose significantly. Furthermore, several local companies have been applying restructuring programs in order to improve their internal operations, production costs and the quality and variety of their products.

In 2006, the volume of Greek production fell to 3.9 million hl (a 4.72 percent decline from 2005). Some 90.5 percent of production concerned table wine, which has remained virtually the same over the last few years. Despite the drop in production over the 2000-2005 period, there has been a gradual rise in reserves, reaching 282,200 tons in 2005. However in 2006 reserves declined to just 225,800 tons.

In the 2005-06 season, Greek wine exports fell to 315,000 hl, a decline of 9.5 percent from 2004-05, while imported quantities came to 265,000 hl.

The challenges for the market are multiple, say the companies participating in the survey. The sector needs more favorable regulations from the European Union, such as a ban on using sugar for enriching wine and promotion of European wine in third countries, to name just two. In addition, the sector is targeting an increase in consumption by young people, the development of organic vines and the improvement of marketing practices for the promotion of the name and the quality of Greek wine on both the local and the international markets.

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