Wine Distributor and Importer Guide: Czechia

Wine Distributor and Importer Guide: Czechia

General information about Czechia

Officially known as Czechia, still often called the Czech Republic even by its citizens, this nation is found in the mountains of Central Europe, bordered by Austria to the south, Poland to the northeast, and Germany to the West. It maintains excellent relations with its neighbour to the southeast, Slovakia, with which it once made up the country of Czechoslovakia. Its relatively small population of some 10,000,000 belies its historical importance: this, after all, is the home of Bohemia, the Prague Spring, the writing of Kafka, and a viticulture inaugurated by the Romans over two thousand years ago. Czechs love their wine and beer – Pilsner, the world’s first pale lager, is Czech despite its German name – and they prefer both to spirits, though they also enjoy Tuzemák, a local substitute for Caribbean rum. With a strengthening economy and a burgeoning interest, Czechia could be an attractive option to importers.

Wine production in Czechia

The Czech Republic is split into two major historical zones: Bohemia and Moravia. And though the name ‘Bohemian’ has its reputation for drinking wine, it’s Moravia which produces the grapes, with 96% of vineyards to be found there. According to the Narodni Vinarske Centrum, or Czech Wine Centre, the country’s initial fame for white wine has recently given way to increased production of reds and rosés. Called “aromatic, fruity, and fleshy” by Forest Wines, whites come in a number of well-known varieties: Pálava, Cabernet Moravia, and Muškát moravský. Figures from Vina z Cech give a total vineyard area of 17,000 hectares, which, although small in comparison to its neighbours, will reach a production of 69,000 metric tons by 2026, according to estimates from ReportLinker.

Legislative regulation of wine imports into Czechia

A member of the European Union, much of Czechia’s legislation around wine importation has been harmonised with its neighbours. One area of deviation, however, and a potential bureaucratic headache, is that all documentation must be submitted in Czech, a fact which will require official translators. Still wine is not exempt from excise duties if imported from outside the EU. Even transport of goods between EU member states, ostensibly free, is subject to official investigation stipulated by tax law.

For full information, please see the following page from the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic:

Wine import to Czech Republic

Wine Imports into Czechia

In 2022, 1,382,508 hl of wine were imported into the Czech Republic, of which 1,201,688 hl were from the European Union. While wine exported in the same year was only 64,850 hl.1

One major feature of the Czech wine market, according to the UK’s CBI, is an openness to diversified origins. Yes, just as every country in Europe, wine imports from France and Italy dominate. Yet despite this, almost a fifth of Czech imports come from their neighbours in Eastern and Central Europe: Moldova, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and others. Importers from these countries, as from the Americas, should be heartened: Czech consumers are increasing their intake of wine and are interested in quality wine regardless of origin. Eastern European importers are encouraged to play on these connections in their marketing; those from outside this area, to focus on the internationalism of young professionals as a target market.

Countries from which wine is imported to the Czech Republic are (January-October 2023)2:

  • Hungary 270,727 hl
  • Italy 189,894 hl
  • Spain 113,031 hl
  • Slovenia 62 155 hl
  • Moldova 44,636 hl
  • Germany 44,088 hl
  • France 34,641 hl
  • Chile 27,997 hl

Wine distribution in Czechia

The wine market in the Czech Republic remains stable; in 2022, there was an increase in the total volume of wine consumed in the country by 0.3% compared to last year. In total, 2.2 mhl of wine was consumed in the Czech Republic in 2022. It can also be noted that in 2022, there was a decrease of 6% compared to the average of the last 5 years.3

Unlike in some EU countries, in the Czech Republic there are no restrictions on the supermarket sale of wine, beer or spirits. This means that supermarkets remain the key segment of wine distribution in the country, accounting for some 70% of sales according to the CBI. As a result, a good relationship with major supermarkets including Lidl, Pennymarket and Norma can help to ensure strong sales. On the other hand, these hypermarkets often charge high listing fees, meaning it can be hard to turn a profit unless selling in bulk.

For smaller suppliers, importation via Germany or Central European warehouses can be a more economic route into the country’s off-trade wine market, covering 90% of wine sales. Premium suppliers can also look online, as many Czech consumers associate online sales with premium produce that cannot easily be purchased at the local supermarket.4

Wine distribution in Czechia

Wine Preferences among Czech Consumers

The key discrepancy in Czech wine preferences is this: the Czech Republic produces 70% white wine and 18% red, but consumes only around 50% white wine. Imported red wines fare strongly on the market, while white wines, according to the CBI, face domestic competition. In the past decade, Rosé has also produced strong figures, meaning another potential opening for importers.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Czech Republic has remained stable over the past decade. The same can be said about the proportions between the consumption of beer, wine and spirits. In 2022, there were almost 143 liters of beer per person per year, 20 liters of wine and just under 7 liters of spirits.5

Through a comprehensive survey conducted with 1,000 participants across the Czech Republic, intriguing insights into wine consumption habits emerged. Remarkably, 11.3% of respondents indulge in wine several times a week, while a substantial 29.8% savor it at least once a week. Additionally, 23.2% partake in wine several times a month, underscoring its regular presence in Czech households. Surprisingly, a mere 2.7% of respondents abstain from wine entirely, highlighting its widespread appeal within the Czech population.6

The survey results unveiled the preferences of our selected sample, showcasing the top ten wines frequently purchased. Leading the pack is Frankovka, followed closely by Cabernet Sauvignon and Müller Thurgau. Notably, Veltlínské zelené, Rulandské bílé, and Svatovavřinecké also made a prominent appearance on the list. Additionally, Modrý Portugal, Chardonnay, and Ryzlink vlašský found favor among respondents, while Bohemia sekt rounded out the selection.7


  1.—NGm_hesx/publikace-situacni-a-vyhledova-zprava-reva-vinna-a-vino-2022?_linka=a491788 ↩︎
  2. ↩︎
  3. ↩︎
  4. ↩︎
  5. ↩︎
  6. ↩︎
  7. ↩︎