Germany's Wineries Expanding


Structural changes continue to reshape the German winegrowing industry, with the ongoing trend toward consolidation showing no signs of slowing down. The total number of growers decreased from 29,200 to 18,700 during the 10-year span from 2003 to 2013, the German Wine Institute (DWI) announced after reviewing recent agricultural statistics.

Total hectares under vine, however, saw no significant change, remaining at roughly 100,000 ha.

This consolidation trend is almost exclusively attributed to growers with less than one hectare under vine transferring their vineyards to other growers, bulk wine producers and/or independently branded estates. The statistics bear this out. During that same 10-year period through 2013, the share of estates with more than five hectares under vine rose from 20 to 32 percent, while the share of micro-estates dropped from 43 to 27 percent. These figures do not include co-operative wineries.

"In the face of increasing competition within the industry, many estates have felt a need to expand their operations, especially where the next generation is entering into the business or where investments have been made in modern tasting rooms and new equipment for cellar work," DWI Managing Director Monika Reule explains. These trends have also been accompanied by a distinct professionalization of the wine industry, Reule notes.

Taken as a group, estates with at least five hectares now manage almost three quarters of Germany's entire area under vine. The average estate size currently totals 12.9 ha.

The structure of companies with one to five hectares under vine remained virtually unchanged over the past decade. This subset of companies oversees 19 percent of Germany's vineyards in all..(find PDF-Download/Graphics/tables)