This year's Romanian wine production is forecast to rise from last year. For 2004, the estimated total wine-grape production is 927,253 tons from 178,458 hectares of producing vineyards, according to the National Inter Professional Viticultural Organisation (ONIV). The average grape yield is expected to be 5.196 kg/ha.

Wine production this year will increase by 15% compared to last year, up to 5.5m hectolitres, but due to the wet summer, the ripening of the grapes will be delayed by between 2 and 3 weeks depending upon the region, ONIV said yesterday (22 September).

The total vineyard area in Romania is 240,000 hectares, ranking the country ninth in the world. From the total area of vineyards, 188,700 hectares represent the surface of vine plantations, the rest is either in preparation for planting or must be reconverted, ONOV added.