“Today we uncork a Polish wine”... A phrase of this type is almost impossible to hear today, but Polish wines are worth keeping an eye on, constantly growing in quantity and quality. Here's everything you need to know for wine lovers who are aware and attentive to all trends.
What you don't know about Polish wines but which is nice to know, as the wine sector is one of the liveliest sectors of the Polish economy, which can reserve surprises for those who are passionate about wine.
Brief history of Polish wines
It might seem strange but already in the 12th century there were vineyards in Poland, cultivated by monks, and later by settlers from Flanders. The latter were located near the communication routes and in the most suitable areas (Silesia above all), because they were intended for the production of wine for sale. The "little ice age" (from the mid-fourteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century) brought about a crisis in the sector, which recovered between the first and second World War, only to experience another dark moment, in the communist period.
The real rebirth occurred in the 1980s : new and important wineries were born from some important nurseries. A significant year was 2008, when a law that did not recognize the production of small wineries was abolished.
Climate in Poland
The climate in Poland is characterized by large seasonal and daily temperature variations, with ice and snow in winter and spring. The climate is rather cold , which determines a low sugar content of the grapes and a high acidity.
How many producers does Poland have?
Between 2015 and 2016, there were just 103 wineries authorized to see wine. In 2016/17 they became 150 ; in the following two years 201 ; in 2018/2019 there were 230 ; in 2019/20 they rose to 294 ; in 2020/21 it rose to 329 .
The latest data, relating to the two-year period 2021/2022, speak of 380 producers. Official source .
How much wine is produced in Poland today?
The most updated data speak of 18,000 hectoliters of wine divided as follows: 6,000 hectoliters of red, 12,000 hectoliters of white.
The grapes produced amount to 10,000 quintals of red grapes and 19,000 quintals of white grapes. Ten years ago, just 3,000 quintals were produced. Source .
Characteristics of the most interesting Polish wine?
In addition to the constant growth of recent years, also favored by climate change which has made it possible to grow grapes in previously unthinkable areas, experimentation : with vines , winemaking styles , most suitable areas .
Who are Polish winemakers?
Polish winemakers are characterized by great enthusiasm, having chosen to deal with an activity that is not yet very widespread in the country.
These are two different types:
- very small businesses, with 1 or 2 hectares of vineyards at most;
- larger cellars, which can cultivate around ten hectares, for larger (but still smaller) productions.
In total, vineyards in Poland occupy 619 hectares (there were 97 between 2012 and 2013, they increased to 99 in 2013/14, 134 in 2014/15, 194 in 2015/16, 221 in 2016/17, 331 in 2017/18, 395 in 2018/19, 475 in 2019/20, 564 in the following two years).
The Polish wine market
It is around 600 million euros a year.
Which grape varieties are grown in Poland?
Among the white grape varieties, solaris (PIWI) is very widespread, with riesling, chardonnay, seyval blanc, johanniter, muscat of Odessa and muscaris, gewürztraminer.
Among the red grape varieties, Regent is mainly cultivated, followed by Rondo, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Curtis, another PIWI.
The wine regions of Poland
Today in Poland, vines are cultivated in a large part of the national territory, however the most suitable and productive areas correspond to the central and southern regions. So: Województwo Lubuskie, Dolnoslaskie, Małopolski Przełom Wisły, Świętokrzyskie, Małopolskie and Podkarpackie Voivodeship.
What are the styles of Polish wine?
In Poland we love producing natural wines, Pét-Nat (Ancestral Method), but also Classic Method bubbles.
Where is Polish wine drunk?
For now the demand for Polish wine is mainly domestic , and wine bars and wine shops have multiplied. And in fact the demand for wine has increased in recent years, to the point that today Poland can be considered one of the most promising markets in Europe for wine.
However, there is also a demand for Polish wines from abroad (Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, Switzerland, Latvia, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, US), approximately 35.2 million liters, a quarter of the total production (2013 data) .
How much wine is consumed in Poland?
In Poland we drink more and more wine, due to the spread of increasingly Western lifestyles and the extraordinary economic growth of the country. Between 2015 and 2020, people who say they consume wine once a week or more frequently went from 45% to 54%. Source .