Rhône Valley plants more vines

The Rhône Valley is on course to produce 3.2 million hectoliters of wine in the coming years as it looks to expand its vineyard capacity to cater for growing demand for its increasingly premium, quality wines. 

The region currently has just over 69000 hectares of vineyards producing a little over 3.1 million hectoliters of wine, but it also has planted 5300 hectares of new vineyards to help it develop more red, white, and rosé wines.

The demand for white and rosé wines in particular, has been one of the big success stories for Rhône in recent years, says Brice Eymard, manager of Inter Rhônes economic department.

Rosé now accounts for 14% of the Rhône wine sales compared to around 8% 10 years ago with white wines also growing in popularity, up 5% of the market. Eymard expects their share to increase further in the future as the market and consumers latch on to the fresher, lighter, easy to drink styles of rosé and white wines being made in the region. “White wine is 5% now, but it will grow to 6% and 7% in future years”, adds Eymard. Demand for rosé wine continues to grow particularly in the domestic French wine market, with Eymard expecting future growth in the US and Uk as consumers tend to move to drier styles. The Rhône’s overall export strategy looks well placed with a firm strategy focused on increasing its current export levels of 34% driven by demandfor its higher priced quality wines. In the UK, for example, the market for Rhône wine has moved from £4 -£6 price category to £6-£9 as it is able to introduce more premium wines, driven by a quality based marketing strategy.