Moldova, a shining light on the international stage
This month VINEX highlights the advances being in Moldova as a significant bulk wine market in its own right.
Moldova is one of the world’s oldest wine producing countries but has had a chequered history when it comes to consistent wine supply due to internal political issues and turbulent relations with what was its most important export market, Russia.
The embargo on all Moldovan wine in to Russia in 2006 may have had a devastating impact on the livelihoods of many Moldovan grape growers reliant on Russia as its number one market. But, in time, it has also proved to be making of Moldovan wine in general as it has been forced to look at improving not only the quality of its own wine, but how it is going to make inroads in to opening up other export markets and opportunities around the world.
Fast forward 10 years and it is a very different picture in Moldova as it slowly emerging as one of the key growing bulk wine markets anywhere in the world. The average annual wine production is now 150 million litres of which 80% is exported to more than 50 countries. Of which 60% of its wines are shipped in bulk and 40% bottled.
Wine has become a key part of the Moldovan economy. It accounts for 3.2% of the country’s GDP and 7.5% of its total exports worth US$156.1m a year.
The Moldovan wine industry employs over 250,000 people in 140 wineries, accounting for some 27% of the working population. Over the last 10 years €330 million has been invested in new vine plantings, production equipment and technologies. It has seen 30,000 extra hectares planted in the past seven years alone.
Luca Vidrascu from EverVin is optimistic about the future of Moldovan wine. In our Member in Focus profile he talks about how far Moldova has come in a relatively short period of time.
He says: “Slowly we are seeing our exports to the European Union increasing. Wine producers are also now much more aware and understand that they need to work with their wines and rebrand their products in order to provide customers with a more appealing offer from Moldova. There is such huge competition on the global wine supply for bulk wine.”
But he concedes it still has a long way to go in developing new markets. “Unfortunately our wine supply is bigger than the demand at the moment,” he says.
It is bulk wine where he sees the most opportunity. He explains: “We are mainly selling bulk wines nowadays. This is where the big opportunity is for Moldovan wine now and in the future.”
Not just for EverVin, but all main Moldovan wine producers. “Before the Russian embargo a lot of wine producers from Moldova were exporting wine in bulk to Russia in huge quantities. When that stopped it has taken us a while to recover. But now we are seeing bulk wine sales increase more on a global scale. That is important for our overall growth.”
Vidrascu believes there are potential opportunities for Moldovan wine all around the world. But particularly in Asia. He explains: “The Chinese market is one of the most important for us. It is why we have been taking part in all the big wine exhibitions there. We hope it will generate more customers for Moldovan wine.”
Moldova is also very price competitive for bulk wine with an average €0.65 per litre for quality varietal whites and €0.75 for reds. It is also able to produce volume quantities of international and European grape varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as growing focus on its own indigenous varieties.