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Premium bottles are estimated to represent up to 10 percent of the Romanian wine market.

Although premium bottles are estimated to represent up to 10 percent of the Romanian wine market, the upmarket niche has become the industry's rising star, growing steadily over recent years, driven both by demand from more refined local consumers and from foreign markets. And the trend should only get stronger, producers told BR.To put it simply, a premium wine is the very best a winery has to offer in terms of quality. Everything matters - from the characteristics of the soil, the age of the vine, the weather conditions and time of harvest, the selection of the grapes, the expertise of the winemaker, the technologies used, the storage and aging process to the shape of the bottle, the label's texture and the story behind the brand.Such wines are increasingly in demand locally, producers say, which has led to the local industry experiencing something of a mini-boom of late, with foreign investors as well as Romanian entrepreneurs acquiring a taste for the viticulture business and premium wine production in particular.Premium wines can be found almost exclusively in HoReCa and specialized wine shops, the number of which has also been going up in recent years, both online and offline, for prices of over USD 5 per bottle or between EUR 10 and EUR 25, according to producers' estimations.Winemakers have mixed projections about the overall evolution of the Romanian wine market. While some are confident the market will see some growth, others are less optimistic and even expect drops."Considering that the purchasing power of the Romanian consumer has been decreasing over the past couple of years, I think that a level similar to the one reported last year is a realistic estimation, or even a little optimistic," Roxana Sabau, key account manager at Serve, told BR.However, one aspect on which everyone agrees is that consumption behavior has changed over the past couple of years and a certain polarization has taken place. "We can see a migration [...] towards the two extremes of the market - bulk wine or bag-in-box on one hand and a small share of the public which can afford to upgrade to quality premium wine, locally produced or imported, on the other hand," she outlined.Regardless of how the total wine sales have evolved or what can be expected from 2013, the premium niche has been growing for the past couple of years and, more importantly, will continue to do so, producers stress. With no official data available so far, premium sales are estimated to represent up to 10 percent of a total market which reached EUR 400 million in 2011. Source; Business Review Romania
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Publication:Balkan Business News
Date:Apr 10, 2013
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