Coronavirus has increased interest in cheaper wines

“In this crisis year of covid, our sales of wines are growing by more than twenty percent. It’s amazing, “says Miroslav Kurka for Prosperita holding, which includes České vinařské závody and Vinium Pavlovice.

It is the Czech Wine Plants that target mainly the lower price group. Their main brand includes Sklepmistr, witnesses also know the Dačický Cup or Buška from Velhartice.

“The cellar master is a phenomenon, it has been produced for almost fifty years and it still forms a very important component of our sales,” adds Kurka, adding that over the years its sales have not decreased at all. “The cellar master is an absolutely crucial product for us, which has only a difficult counterpart in this industry,” he adds.

The cellar master now costs around 70 crowns per liter on store shelves. But it does not belong to the full price day. On the shelves it is also possible to find boxed wines for 29.90 crowns imported, for example, from Spain. After all, according to the label, Sklepmistr is also made from grapes originating from the European Union, not directly from the Czech Republic.

“The current trend is price and consumers are turning to cheaper products. The current situation with COVID-19 only supports this, “confirms the head of the Czech Winegrowers Association, Martin Půček.

The president of the winegrowers’ association Tibor Nitray also thinks that about a fifth of customers accept the price of a bottle of wine around a hundred crowns. “Some consumers, we call them experts and instructors, but they are willing to pay for higher quality and a higher reasonable price,” he says.

Concerns about wine from abroad

Therefore, some Moravian winemakers are afraid that the Czech customer will not be more inclined to foreign production, which can be cheaper. After all, imported wines account for two thirds of sales in the Czech Republic.

“It is a pity that conditions in the EU are not the same everywhere. Cheap subsidized wines transported to the Czech Republic, of course, damage all real Moravian winemakers, “complains David Štastný, who and his family own the company Château Valtice – Valtice Wine Cellars with 630 hectares of their own vineyards. Sixty percent of their production goes to retail chains.

According to the statistics of the winegrowers’ association, around 1.3 million liters of wine are imported to the Czech Republic every year, most of which is made up of cask wine, except for a few exceptional years. Last year, however, more “packaged” wine was added, ie bottles, boxes and larger “bag in boxes”. 55 percent of imported wine is handled by three countries – Hungary, Italy and Spain.

Sales of cheaper wine are also affected by the fact that in the spring, due to the covid, its sales moved from closed, more expensive restaurants and wine shops to shops or the Internet. “During the pandemic, interest in wine and hard alcohol increased due to the transfer of customers from restaurants to stone shops. However, the situation has already stabilized and customers buy across the entire range as standard, “said Lidla spokeswoman Iveta Barabášová.

In addition, according to economists, the price of wine can be expected to increase in the rest of the year, which will only intensify the trend towards cheaper ones. “Wine lovers drink it more at home, which has made it bigger for larger producers who have a better managed distribution,” says Štěpán Křeček, chief economist at BH Securities.

“In addition, wine producers have to deal with high inflation, which is reflected in their inputs. As a result of these facts, I estimate that there will be an increase in the price of wine, “he said.

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