The EU wine market situation can be characterised in recent years by the following factors: a decreasing EU wine production, a decrease in EU wine consumption and increased wine exports to third countries considerably exceeding the increase in wine imports.
The net result is a decrease of stocks leading to increasing wine prices, in particular over the last two years. Market balance was reached, while certain market measures such as the support for potable alcohol distillation and for the use of concentrated must were phased out.
In the mid to late 1990s, much of Common Agricultural Policy was overhauled and the legislation was simplified. A major revision was done in 1999.
The latest round of reforms was announced in 2006 and led to agreed legal documents in 2008
The reform of the wine CMO adopted in 2008 and incorporated into Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007 (hereinafter 'SCMO Regulation') aims to increase the competitiveness of the EU wine producers.
The new quality policy applies since 1 August 2009 and concerns PDO, PGI and TT.
As regards PDO/PGI, the new rules are fully in line with the WTO-TRIPS Agreement and
coherent with agricultural products and foodstuffs PDO/PGI regime. The modernisation of this policy was considered essential to harmonise EU rules and to adapt wine products to market demand. The wine sector is quite particular in that a high proportion of the production is under PDO or PGI and the reputation and quality of wine is very often linked to the region of production, in particular in wine producing Member States. The new policy should enhance the consolidation of quality wines with PDO and PGI and their protection against usurpation in Europe and in third countries. An essential task of the EU within the reform was to consolidate the list of the protected EU PDO and PGI wines.
The latest trade information available shows that exports to third countries have increased significantly since 2007 and amount now to over 22 Mio hl (8.1 Billion € - the average export value per hl having improved). The first months of 2012 have shown even a slight increase compared to the equivalent period in 2011. While the penetration on new markets is impressive, market shares in other foreign markets and even in some Member States are decreasing due to the competition of third country wines.