Wine is considered one of the big winners of the corona pandemic in Germany. With every lockdown, the sales figures of the winemakers have skyrocketed. The bottom line for the past two wine years is a per capita consumption of 20.7 liters per person.

This means that every German citizen consumed about one bottle of wine more on average than in the pre-pandemic times. But now the crash follows: In the first three months of 2022, consumers in this country bought significantly less wine.

Sales fell by an impressive 18 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Even compared to the pre-Corona period, the minus is still seven percent. According to the German Wine Institute (DWI), the main reasons are the high energy and sharply rising food prices.

“People have less money in their wallets. Ultimately, this means that savings are made on what is not absolutely necessary. And, unfortunately, that also includes stimulants,” says DWI Managing Director Monika Reule. Added to this is the uncertainty caused by the Ukraine war.

The industry is therefore preparing for further declines in the coming weeks and months. “As long as the tense economic situation does not improve, it is to be feared that this development will continue,” says the DWI.

Especially since strong surcharges are foreseeable for wine. “There will be price increases,” announces industry representative Reule, pointing out that glass bottles are scarce and expensive given the high gas prices.

“Anyone who used to rely on special bottles now has to take what is available,” reports the expert. But the costs for labels and closures have also risen, as have the costs for boxes and fuel for the tractor in the vineyard.

And there are limits for consumers. Only one in five Germans is willing to pay more than ten euros for a bottle of wine, according to a survey conducted by POSPulse last November on willingness to spend. The highest approval ratings were for the price range between five and seven euros, closely followed by the range from seven to ten euros.

Wine from local cultivation is preferred. The 13 German wine-growing regions have a market share of 45 percent, according to figures from the market researcher GfK Group. It is followed at some distance by wine from Italy with a market share of 17 percent, followed by Spain with twelve percent and France with eleven percent.

“Above all, variety, value and individuality are valued,” says the DWI, which recently published a study on the status of German wine. The favorite of buyers in Germany is white wine, which accounts for almost half of the amount drunk. The white grape varieties even account for around two thirds of the cultivated areas in Germany: by far the number one is Riesling, followed by Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Gris.

The rosé variety has gained popularity among consumers in the past two years, with its share increasing from ten to twelve percent during the pandemic. In Germany, wine is mainly bought from discounters and supermarkets. In total, two out of three wine bottles are sold there.