Production of grapes for wine might exceed 1.1 million tones in 2008

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The production of grapes for wine might exceed 1.1 million tonnes in 2008, above the level reported last year, when it stood at some 1.04 million tones, general manager with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) Cornel Dicu told. ''Although harvesting of early grapes will start only after September 15, we estimate for this year a much better production than in 2007, although wine growers reported by 20% higher costs this year,'' said Dicu.
 
Dicu added that 2008 was not an easy year for the cultivation of the vine because excessive humidity and heat led to the implementation of several phytosanitary measures for the vine but also for the upkeep of the soil.
''If normally, vine growers make 6-7 treatments a year, this year they made some 8-10 treatments reporting, therefore, much higher costs. It is very important the warm temperatures maintain in the upcoming period for the accrual of the sugars in grapes,'' said the director of the National Vineyard Growers and Wine Producers Association (ONIV).
 
According to the same source, in the case of a harvest of over 1.1 million tones of grapes for wine, the wine production in 2008 might exceed 6 million hectolitres.
The biggest vine grower in Romania, Murfatlar, which manages an area of 3,000 ha of vine, estimates for 2008 a harvest of grapes of over 30,000 tonnes, up 32% as against the previous year.
For the wine production, Murfatlar forecast about 21 million hectolitres in 2008 as against 16 million in 2007.
The representatives of the vive company Cotnari stock company of Iasi county (eastern Romania) deem that this autumn the wine will be rich in sugars.
 
The marketing manager of Cotnari, Catalin Grecu said that this year's wine quality will be special, because of acidity and flavour of the wine, whereas the production will be much higher compared to the previous years.
According to his statements, the fruit-bearing plots of land was of 1,190 ha of vine from which the overall production was of 9,850 tonnes of grapes.
This year in bearing are 1,250 he of vine with about 11,500 tonnes of grapes, according to the estimates.
 
''We hope we'll not report losses. So far the production is much better than last year. The concentration is within the limits and hot days tare expected in September and October. In this case, the grape will amass a lot of sugar. This is a good year,'' said marketing manager of Cotnari.The wine production estimated for 2008 is of 76,500 hectoliotres from the sorts Francusa, Feteasca alba, Tamaioasa romaneasca and Grasa de Cotnari, in approximately equal proportions.
 
According to the information supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the overall area under noble and hybrid vine in Romania at present is of 180,000 hectares, of which half is under noble vine, considering negotiated with the European Union were some 240,000 ha.
Of the overall production of grapes for wine obtained last year, of 1.042 million tones, some 5.28 million hectolitres of wine were obtained.
 
Last year, Romania exported some 148,371 hl of wine, worth some 16 million euros, whereas imports were about threefold higher – 388,655 hl (28.8 million euros). The main markets for exports were Germany, the Russian Federation, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria, the United States, Belarus, Canada, China, whereas imports came from Spain, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, Hungary.
 
The Romanian wine market was appraised in 2007 at 440 million euros, reporting a constant growth over the past years because of the rise in the consumption of wine per capita and the growth of the living standard, according to estimates made by the National Vineyard Growers and Wine Producers Association (ONIV). Over the past four years, the wine-making sector investments worth 100 million euros were made not only in new technologies, but also for the establishment of new grape growing areas with a view to contributing to the rise in the quality of wine and consumption.
 
In Romania, a country with a long tradition in wine making, there are 8 vine growing regions, 37 vineyards and 171 viticulture centre. The quality wine include white (Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Grasa de cotnari, Tamaioasa Romaneasca, Francusa etc), red wines (Feteasca Neagra, Babeasca Neagra, Novac, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir) and rose wines (Busuioaca de Bohotin (Romanian wine).
 
At present, Romania ranks fifth in terms of viticuilural area, the 6th place as regards the production of grapes and also the sixth place as regards the production of wine.The wine production had fluctuations over 2000-2004, but it reached maximum in 2004 with 30 litres per capita. The trend upward continues, although Romanians tend to become beer drinkers.
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