Global surge in organic vineyard area
A new report from the OIV shows that more than three quarters of the world surface area of ââorganic vineyards is in Europe: but 63 countries in the world now have at least 1000 ha of vineyards under organic management.
In total, 6.2% of the world’s vineyards were organic in 2019, according to the report.
8% growth per year
The conversion rate of vineyards to organic production has increased dramatically since the start of the 21st century.
Between 2005 and 2019, the area of ââcertified organic vineyard increased by an average of 13% per year, while the area of âânon-organic vineyard decreased by an average of 0.4% per year.
One of the factors behind this intense growth rate is the fact that certified organic viticulture is still a recent phenomenon.
But growth has seen ups and downs: organic surfaces increased exponentially between 2005 and 2011 (+ 18% per year on average), to slow down between 2011 and 2014 at an average annual rate of + 4%. From 2014, the growth rate increased again to an average of + 8% per year.
Spain: world’s leading producer of organic wine
In 2019, a total of 63 countries on all continents were involved in organic viticulture and the area of ââcertified organic vineyard was estimated at 454 kha, or 6.2% of the global vineyard area.
The organic vineyard is however very concentrated in certain zones: 10 countries represent 91% of the world total.
The top three markets – Spain, France and Italy – account for 75% of organic vineyards in total worldwide distribution and place Europe at the forefront of the organic wine movement. Although these countries are already the largest wine producers in the world, another reason for their emphasis on organic vineyards is that some EU policies have encouraged the development of organic areas, especially vineyards.
Spain is the world’s leading organic producer by area, accounting for 27% of the global organic vineyard area, with Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia and Valencia representing the main regions.
France comes just behind: it represents 25% of the world’s organic wine-growing area. The sector is driven by domestic demand (on average only 40% of organic wines are exported), with organic vineyards centered around the Mediterranean basin.
Italy, meanwhile, accounts for 24% of the world total, with Sicily, Puglia and Tuscany being the main regions. Unlike France, the Italian organic market is mainly export oriented, with around 85% of organic wines exported per year.
These top three markets are followed by the United States (4%), Turkey (3%), China (3%), Germany (2%), Austria (1%), Greece (1 %) and Argentina (1%).
Organic vineyards in the United States represent 3.6% of the world total.
“In the United States – the world’s largest market for organic agricultural products – these products are increasingly becoming a part of consumer habits,”notes the report. âThe growth of organic areas has been slower than in other countries with similar organic vineyard areas. Certified organic areas still fluctuate considerably, with vineyards entering and leaving the organic system.
European countries dominate organic vineyards not only in terms of total area, but as a percentage of the country’s total vineyard area.
Italy devotes 15% of its vineyard to organic viticulture, followed by France (14%) and Austria (14%) and Spain (13%). The only non-European country in the top 10 is Mexico, with 8% of its wine-growing area certified organic.
The OIV notes however that the challenges for organic vineyards and trends may fluctuate accordingly.
âBehind this growth of organic vineyards around the world, there is nevertheless an important movement both upwards and downwards, because the conversion of a vineyard to organic cultivation is often complex and requires a great deal of adaptation. Climatic phenomena or structural and / or organizational problems can lead producers to abandon their certification in organic production, leading to a local reduction in organic wine-growing areas. In addition, the generally lower yields in organic viticulture can also be a reason for withdrawing a label or certification. These factors, which have an impact on the surface area, vary greatly from one country to another depending on the weather conditions of the vintage.
The full report is available here.