Polish wine industry mature enough to survive COVID-19

While lockdown was “a struggle” for the industry, the Polish wine industry has matured this past 20 years and despite weather fears, “the 2020 vintage finally looks balanced, after a couple of years of record temperatures” Tomasz Prange-Barczynski, editor of Ferment wine magazine told PolandIN.

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Although many meet-ups and wine tasting events were moved online earlier this year, including The Polish Wine Festival viewed by over 100,000 people in April, by June “Polskie Korki” in Poznań took place with visitors in person, with 250 wine samples exhibited from Polish vineyards.

The industry has changed significantly, since viniculture started up again after the transition from communism in 1989, and Polish wineries became officially recognised in 2008. Now a new generation of 20-somethings are coming through to manage the wineries their parents founded, sometimes as hobbyists in the early days. “They drink wine, not just their own and have travelled internationally, and are bringing in a new culture into the sector in Poland, “ Mr Barczyński said.

2018 vintage and 2020

As regards the vintages currently available, 2018 was a good one but challenging because the heady sunshine brought strengths of up to 14 percent to the wine, according to Mr Penge-Barczyński.

While he ascribed to the school of thought that a vintage should not be judged until the last grape is gathered, the milder temperatures this year have a chance of making a more balanced batch.

There was no snow in the winter in Poland this year, which led to fears of a drought. However, rain in April and no return to record temperatures means, in the wine expert’s opinion, that the wines will have more acidity, a quality which is sometimes overly-noticeable in Polish wine but lacking for the last couple of years. At the same time the sunshine in recent weeks should assure they also have more body.