12° Nicosia,
22 May, 2024

Imported wine squeezes Cyprus market

Amid wars and woes, Cyprus winemakers seek new opportunities abroad


According to Kathimerini reporter, Andreas Karamitas, wine marketing in Cyprus boasts an annual turnover of approximately €7 million, a sum primarily fueled by domestic consumption rather than exports, which only account for around €1 million. The Trade Committee of the Parliament has scrutinized this issue, aiming to bolster the local wine industry and enhance its global presence. However, a major hurdle facing the sector is the influx of imported wines, primarily due to their competitive pricing and perceived lack of quality compared to Cypriot counterparts. This disparity in cost often leads consumers to opt for imported varieties, exacerbating the challenge for local producers. Moreover, external factors such as geopolitical events and conflicts, notably the war in Ukraine, have further complicated matters, resulting in a significant 55% decline in wine exports.

Amidst these challenges, stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, emphasized the pivotal role of wine in Cyprus's tourism sector. Advocating for a comprehensive governmental approach, industry players propose strategies to promote Cypriot wines to tourists, potentially alleviating issues of surplus and enhancing the country's tourism appeal. Suggestions include offering subsidies to hotels and businesses to prioritize Cypriot wines over foreign alternatives. Thanasis Ignatiou, a prominent wine producer, highlights the potential impact of such measures, citing the opportunity to not only reduce excess inventory but also elevate Cyprus's tourism product by familiarizing visitors with local wines.

Looking ahead, industry insiders advocate for expanding into new markets, particularly in Asia and America, to bolster the viability of Cypriot wines. They believe that strategic government-industry collaboration can facilitate access to these lucrative markets, providing economic benefits and enhancing Cyprus's global reputation. Despite the challenges, Cyprus's viticultural landscape remains rich and diverse, boasting 40 grape varieties that offer wine enthusiasts a captivating tasting experience. From the vibrant Xynisteri to the robust Mavro, Cyprus's wine industry continues to thrive, blending tradition with innovation to captivate wine lovers worldwide.

[This article by Andreas Karamitas was translated from its Greek original and edited for clarity and brevity]

Cyprus  |  wines  |  economy  |  export

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