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Swedish wines achieve record year thanks to summer heat

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Swedish wines achieve record year thanks to summer heat
Gathering the grapes in Skåne. File photo: Björn Lindgren/TT
14:29 CET+01:00
The extreme and unusual heatwave across Sweden this summer was good news for winemakers in the country.

The record heat came as bad news for many in the agricultural sector, with drought-hit farmers struggling to feed their animals, but the vineyards benefited from the sustained temperatures.

Experts at the organization Svenskt Vin (Swedish Wine) estimated that the harvest would be between 30 and 50 percent greater than usual, but some winemakers believe the increase could be much more.

"I think the harvest in Sweden is twice as big (as average), and that in total it will be 200 tonnes of grapes," Murre Sofrakis, who works at a Skåne vineyard, told the TT newswire. "We are of course satisfied, but above all it's good for Sweden. There will be many who perhaps for the first time can try Swedish wine."

Another vineyard, Blaxsta Wine in Flen, Södermanland, recorded its biggest harvest and best grape quality since it opened in 2000.

"The spring came early with sun and warmth, followed by 15 weeks of clear blue skies and lots of heat. Add to that the fact we had 25 percent more daylight than Bordeaux during the summer season," staff wrote on their website.

Milder weather has given a boost to Sweden's growing wine industry, particularly as many climate-conscious Swedes opt for staycations, holidaying in their own country rather than flying overseas. 

However, the business owners face obstacles, not least Swedish bureaucracy and alcohol laws which currently means it is impossible for the vineyards to sell bottles of their wine onsite. Instead, they have to supply the state alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget

Earlier in the year, the parliamentary social committee voted in favour of permitting the sale of alcohol in limited quantities at farms and similar sites, but since that decision, no progress has been made in putting new rules in place.

RECIPE: How to make your own Swedish mulled wine

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