The total area under vines in the EU was 3.2 million hectares (ha) in 2020, equivalent to 2.0 % of the utilised agricultural area (UAA). In 2020, there were 2.2 million vineyard holdings for wine (hereafter termed ‘vineyard holdings’) in the EU, the vast majority of which were very small; 83.3 % had less than 1 ha of vineyards.
Spain, France and Italy together accounted for three-quarters (74.9 %) of the area under vines in the EU and about two-fifths (38.7 %) of vineyard holdings in 2020. However, Romania had the highest number of vineyard holdings in the EU (0.8 million holdings, equivalent to 37.9 % of the EU total in 2020).
The main vine varieties for red wine accounted for a small majority (52.7 %) of all main vine varieties, with those for white wine accounting for most of the rest (44.6 %). Vines for quality wines dominate EU vineyards; 82.4 % of the area of vineyards in the EU were dedicated to quality wine production in 2020.
Vines in the EU are relatively old; vines over 30 years old in 2020 represented a little over one-third (36.7 %) of the area of the EU’s vineyards in 2020, with a further two-fifths (41.3 %) being accounted for by vines that were between 10 and 29 years old.
The vast majority (82.4 %) of the EU’s vineyards in 2020 were dedicated to the production of grapes for quality wine. Quality wine refers to products of both protected designation of origin (2.1 million ha, equivalent to 65.3 % of the EU’s vineyards) and protected geographical indication (0.5 million ha, equivalent to 17.1 %).
Between 2015 and 2020, there were 257 000 fewer vineyard holdings in the EU, equivalent to a 10.3 % reduction. Most of these holding losses came from the very smallest vineyard holdings; there were 226 000 fewer holdings than in 2015 in the size class with less than 1 ha of vines. There were sharp reductions in the number of vineyard holdings in a number of Member States, but particularly in Portugal (a loss of 98 000 holdings), in Italy (a loss of 78 000 holdings) and in Spain (a loss of 34 000 holdings). Despite these losses, the area of vineyards for wine production remained relatively stable (-1.1 %) between 2015 and 2020.
3.2 million hectares of vineyards in the EU
In 2020, there were 3.2 million hectares of land under vines in the EU. Among the 16 Member States that have more than the threshold of 500 ha of vineyards, Spain (with 0.9 million hectares), France (0.8 million ha) and Italy (0.7 million ha) together accounted for about three-quarters (74.9 %) of the EU’s total area under vines (see Figure 1). Most of the rest of the EU’s vineyards were in Romania, Portugal, Germany and Greece, which each had a further 0.1 million to 0.2 million hectares under vines.
There are a number of regions in the EU that are specialised in wine production. About one-fifth of the utilised agricultural areas of Languedoc-Roussillon in France (21.3 %) and La Rioja in Spain (20.1 %) were planted to vines, and about 15 % in the Fruili-Venezia Guilia region of Italy and Madiera in Portugal. There was widespread regional specialisation in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal (see Map 1 and areas where the share of UAA under vines exceeded 8 %) as well as isolated regions in other Member States, like Wien in Austria (where 11.8 % of UAA was under vines), Attika in Greece (9.4 %) and Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany (NUTS1, 9.2 %).
2.2 million vineyard holdings in the EU
The EU had 2.2 million vineyard holdings in 2020. A little less than two-fifths (37.9 %) of this EU total were the 0.8 million holdings in Romania, which are typically very small. A further 0.5 million vineyard holdings were in Spain and 0.3 million in Italy, together accounting for one-third (35.3 %) of the EU total (see Table 1 and Figure 2).
The EU’s vineyards are typically small, particularly when compared to the size of other farms that grow crops or raise livestock. The average (mean) size of a vineyard holding in the EU was 1.4 ha in 2020, compared with an average of 15.2 ha (2016) for all holdings in the EU. The smallest vineyards in the EU were in Romania (an average 0.2 ha per vineyard holding), and Croatia, Greece, Slovenia and Cyprus (all about 0.5 to 0.6 ha on average). By contrast, the average size of a vineyard holding in France was 10.5 ha, which was more than double that of the next highest average of 4.6 ha in Luxembourg (see Figure 3).
Across the EU, there were relatively small numbers of holdings with large areas of vineyards; at the level of the EU, 3.2 % of holdings with more than 10 ha of vineyards accounted for a majority (59.2 %) of all vineyards in the EU (see Figure 4). The vast majority of vineyard holdings were very small; 83.3 % had less than 1 ha of vineyards. This distribution was a feature of most Member States; in Slovakia, France, Czechia, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, and Hungary, a majority of the area under vines was on those holdings with more than 10 ha of vineyards and in Italy and Portugal was only a little less than 50 %.
More information: Eurostat – Statistics Explained
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