Viticulture has known two different apogees in Algeria:
The first one occurred during Antiquity, under the successives dominations of Phoenicia and the Roman Empire. The second apogee started around 1830 and the post-war period, under French colonization.
The end of the 19th century was a time of remarkable expansion and development for the Algerian vineyard. In fact, the political crises in mainland France, as well as the ravages caused by phylloxera created an urgent need to increase wine production overseas.
The Algerian vineyard then peaked at 360,000 hectares in the years 1930-1939, with a production of 17.2 million hectoliters. Algeria then became the fourth wine producer in the world at the time.
During the 1930s, Algeria represented ⅔ of the world wine flows.
Unfortunately the rise of Algerian viticulture is as spectacular as its decline, because since the 1960s, the Algerian vineyard has clearly diminished in size.
In 2021, the Algerian vineyard was around 70,000 hectares. Many vines are now cultivated for the consumption of table grapes and raisins.
But this decrease in the vineyard, after a period of intensive production, now gives winegrowers the opportunity to produce less, but of much better quality.
Indeed, Algeria, because of its Mediterranean climate, with long hot summers and mild and humid winters, produces beautiful vintages every year. The vine is cultivated at very low altitude, so as to protect itself from the Sirocco, a hot and violent wind coming from the Sahara desert.
The 4 dominant wine regions are:
Les Coteaux de Mascara (loamy clay-sandy soils)
The Coteaux de Tlemcen (sandstone clay limestone soils)
The Tessala Mountains (silico-calcareous soils)
The Dahra (sandy limestone)
The main red grape varieties are : Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Noir.
There is also an abundance of grape varieties such as : Alicante Bouschet, Aramon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot.
The white grape varieties are mainly Clairette, Muscat, Merseguera and Faranah.