consumption in Morocco is flourishing.
The first vines date back 2,500 years in the central Meknes region but it was during the period of the French Protectorate (1912 – 1956) that the wine industry in Morocco was transformed. A catastrophic phylloxera pest totally destroyed most of Europe’s vineyards at the turn of the 20th century and many French winemakers emigrated to Morocco to start afresh. The French planted vineyards extensively, planting the same grape varieties commonly found around the Mediterranean, such as Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot.
Morocco has 14 wine regions centred around Meknes, Casablanca, Agadir, Boulaouane, Fes, Kenitra, Marrakech, Melilla, Ouarzazate, Rabat, Safi, Sidi Ifni, Tangier and Tetouan. Becoming more famous are the vineyards in Benslimane, Berkane and Guerrouane.
Current annual output stands at more than 40 million bottles of wine, making Morocco the second largest producer in the Arab world, the largest being Algeria. 85% of production is consumed by the domestic market, leaving 15% which is exported, mainly in France.