A Small Country with a Big Appetite for Wine

03/05/2024 Luxembourg: A Wine Lover's Paradise

Domestic wine consumption grabs all the attention: each citizen drinks, on average, about 56 liters of wine per year, making it one of the countries with the world’s highest per capita wine consumption. Where is this? 


The Wine Market in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a small monarchy of a few square kilometers but has one of the highest rates of per capita wine consumption. The Duchy also has a 2,000-year history of winemaking, but have you ever heard of Luxembourg as a wine producer? The answer for most of us is simply, “no.” Domestic wine production is, however, coveted by Luxembourgers. 

The producing area extends along the Moselle valley, and precisely because of its location, the local vineyards are filled with traditional grape varieties usually associated with Germany and France. Müller-Thurgau (usually called "Rivaner" there) and Auxerrois Blanc occupy almost 50% of the total surface. Pinot Noir also exists, showing that excellent red wine production has found a place in the country's cooler hills. 

Source: Iter Vitis

Much of the white grape viticulture is grown especially for producing sparkling wines, which is called “Crémant de Luxembourg.” 

At last count, there are 1,330 hectares of vineyards, with about 1,200 in production, producing approximately 12.4 million liters of wine per year. That’s more than in 2021, when production reached 9.8 million liters, mostly of white wine. The most planted grape variety is Müller-Thurgau, which represents 30% of the total. There are only about 50 producers in the country. Of the 56 liters of wine consumed per capita annually in Luxembourg, it is estimated that 16 liters correspond to local labels and the remaining 40 liters to foreign whites and reds. 

A study by Spain’s ICEX trade agency found that Luxemburg wine production, although it has increased recently, is limited and never meets the total demand. Owing to this limited local production, Luxembourg needs to source from other countries. In 2021, wine imports amounted to 126.43 million euros, equivalent to 22.64 million liters. In contrast, exports only reached 25.86 million euros (5.61 million liters). Thus, Luxembourg is a net importer of wine. 

The main wine suppliers to Luxembourg in terms of import value are France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Germany. France, the main importer to the market, dominates the Luxembourg market with a market share of 42.7% in value and 27.2% in volume. Imports of red wines and Champagne stand out. Notably, wines imported from Belgium, the second-largest supplier to this market, are also mostly French. Spain is the fifth wine supplier to the country. In total, imports of Spanish wines amounted to 4.87 million euros (1.70 million liters) and are at their highest level. In terms of value, still wine is the most demanded (62.8%), followed by sparkling wines (28.8%). Notable are red wines with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) La Rioja and Cava.  

The Grand Duchy, with 639,589 inhabitants and 2,586 km2 of surface area, represents only 0.2% of global wine demand. However, the number of potential consumers increases when taking into account the more than 210,000 cross-border workers residing in neighboring countries such as France, Germany, or Belgium. It boasts a high standard of living and intense tourist traffic fueled by its natural and architectural treasures.  

Spotlight on Crémant de Luxembourg

This is a high-quality sparkling wine of superior quality. Since 1991, the designation Crémant has been used for Luxembourg-quality sparkling wines that meet strict regulatory conditions. Crémant is based on local aromatic grapes with refreshing acidity. The selection of the grape variety, the blend composition, and the yeast aging time create unique products that make Crémant de Luxembourg a special tasting experience. 

The name "Crémant" can only be used for quality sparkling wine, white or rosé, with a Protected Designation of Origin, if:

- Grapes are harvested by hand

- The wines come from musts obtained by pressing whole grapes

- The quantity must be obtained does not exceed 100 liters for 150 kilograms of grapes

- The blend has been made sparkling by a second alcoholic fermentation in the bottle

- The blend has remained uninterrupted on lees for at least nine months in the same company

- The sparkling wine has been separated from the lees by disgorging

- The maximum sulfur dioxide content does not exceed 150 mg/l

- The sugar content is less than 50 g/l 

Some well-known producers of Crémant de Luxembourg include: 

Domaines Vinsmoselle: One of the largest wine producers in Luxembourg, known for producing a wide range of wines, including Crémant. 

Caves Bernard-Massard: A renowned winery in Luxembourg, known for its high-quality sparkling wines, including Crémant. 

Domaine Alice Hartmann: A family-owned winery producing a variety of wines, including Crémant, known for its focus on quality and tradition. 

Caves St Martin: One of the oldest wineries in Luxembourg, known for its traditional winemaking methods and high-quality Crémant. 

Domaine Henri Ruppert: A family-owned winery with a focus on sustainable viticulture, known for its Crémant de Luxembourg. 

Domaine Laurent and Rita Kox: The innovative Kox Domain uses the latest technological solutions to showcase the best qualities of the Riesling - the aristocrat of the Luxembourg white wines – as well as Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, and Gewürztraminer.  

Unique Wine (and Spirits) Marketing, Luxembourg Style

Source: JADO

The Kox family partners with a unique company creating customized—hence unique and exclusive—bottled and labeled wines and spirits: JADO. So too does Domaine Viticole Max-Lahr & Fils. JADO will customize labels and bottles to provide special products for corporations, events, and gifts. As JADO says, “Offer your hosts, or your guests, your very own Auxerrois wine by customizing bottle labels with personal text messages and greetings.” JADO does the same for Kox Crémant.  

This unique sales and marketing angle demonstrates some of the vibrancy in Luxembourg’s wine industry. JADO offers exclusivity and seeks to support the local wind industry. “We strive to support local know-how and entrepreneurial spirit,” says the company’s inspirational website. 

Source: JADO 

Luxembourg Wine in Wine Competitions and Awards

The nation’s wine producers have a zeal for winning international wine competitions. Crémants from Luxembourg won 19 gold medals and six silver medals at France’s “Concours National des Crémants” competition dedicated to these sparkling wines in 2022. Competitors from the grand duchy took home 19 gold medals, with wineries Caves Gales, Domaine Viticole Pundel-Hoffeld, Poll-Fabaire, Domaines Vinsmoselle, Domaine L&R Kox, Caves St Martin and Caves St Remy-Desom garnering the top award. Domaines Vinsmoselle, makers of the Poll-Fabaire brand, took home the most awards of any single winery winning six gold and two silver medals. Another four silver medals were awarded to Caves St Remy-Desom and the Domaine Viticole Pundel-Hoffeld. International wine competitions help highlight the quality of Luxembourg wines and also catch the attention of the on-trade. 


In all, Luxembourg's wine industry is a captivating blend of tradition, quality, and innovation. Despite its small size, the country boasts a rich history of winemaking and a deep-rooted culture of wine appreciation. With a focus on high-quality production, particularly exemplified by its acclaimed Crémant, Luxembourg continues to make a significant mark in the global wine market. Its unique approach to marketing and promotion, as seen through collaborations with companies like JADO, further highlights Luxembourg's commitment to excellence and its ability to adapt to modern trends. As Luxembourg's wine industry continues to evolve, it remains a fascinating and dynamic player in the world of wine.

Header Image: Moselle Wine Region; Photo: Christophe von Biesen

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