HomeEconomyWhen viticulture in Morocco combines with table and wine grapes

When viticulture in Morocco combines with table and wine grapes

Morocco is one of the cradles of the last wild vines. For more than four decades, the Moroccan vineyard has been gaining more and more value. We see a diversity of styles displayed and the rehabilitation of forgotten vineyards. It is in Morocco where the first wines were made around the 6th century BC. AD, during the installation of the Phoenician and Greek counters.

The total surface area of ​​vines in Morocco varies between 49,000 and 50,000 ha, of which 75% table grapes for 21% wine grapes. The total annual production of grapes is 2,617,000 quintals. Vine products include table grapes, dehydrated grapes (currants), wine, grape juice, concentrated must, distillates, leaves, and vinegar. It goes without saying that for each of these products different varieties are used.

In Morocco, the main production regions for table vines are Doukkala, Haouz, Benslimane, Rabat-Salé, Khémisset and Essaouira. These regions account for 71% of the total area. For the vines, most of the vineyards are concentrated in the regions of El Hajeb, Khémisset, Meknès, Gharb and Moulouya which hold more than 88% of the total area. Regarding the yield, in general, when we harvest table grape varieties we can obtain a higher yield than when cultivating wine-making grape varieties.

However, most contemporary table grape varieties can perform well for the first 15-17 years of their life. The cultivation of table grapes is carried out mainly in the aforementioned regions, which explains the variations in yield and sometimes the uprooting of vineyards. The sector provides more than 20,000 agricultural jobs and more than 10,000 in related activities. It is generally the women who are employed the most in the sector and they take care of the harvest, as well as the pruning and other meticulous work of the vineyard. The sector creates 260,000 days of work and generates no less than 200 million DH.

Women are the most employed in picking grapes

Morocco remains a small producer, however, if its production is compared to an annual global volume of 60 Mt, of which at least 12 million are intended for fresh consumption. According to World Atlas, the top 5 grape producing countries, by total in tonnes, are Italy, France, United States, Spain and China. Other sources readily grant the latter to be the world’s largest producer of grapes. To develop culture, several projects are planned under the Green Morocco Plan. This is the case for supporting the production of large-scale table grapes in the main producing regions.

For ten years, budgetary envelopes are regularly allocated to the wine sector as part of the Green Morocco Plan to the implementation of several development projects in the wine sector. However, the sector faces some difficulties. These include the loss of land for this crop, with a regular decrease in the area planted with vines. In addition, only a small part of the area is equipped with high-tech equipment (greenhouses, drip, anti-hail nets, trellising, conduction, etc.) and its production, just as small, is intended for ‘export in a very specific segment or to the local market in the early stage with high added value.

As for the vat vineyard in Morocco, it is made up of four main varieties, Cinsault, Carignan, Alicante, Bouchet and Grenache which alone represent 81% of the total area of ​​this vineyard. Improving grape varieties only concern a negligible area of ​​all the wine-growing vines. The main table varieties are, Doukkali, Muscat d’Italie, Valency, Abbou, Boukhanzir and Muscat d’Alexandrie which occupy about 77% of the total area. The rest is made up of the following varieties: Alfonse Lavallée, Adari, Cardinal and Madelaine. The non-seeded varieties occupy a negligible area, not exceeding 600 ha.

However, to come back to wine grapes, without sulfur, the wine also turns vinegar to bring it up to standard, we add an antiseptic, sulfur dioxide (SO2). Used with measure (depending on the vintage, the type of wine and the sanitary condition of the harvest), it protects the wine from oxidation and helps stabilize it once bottled.




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