About North Africa
The wine tradition in Maghreb is very ancient, certain traces date back more than 2000 years. However, it is under the colonial influence of France that the region developed a true wine industry, most notably in Algeria, in Morocco and in Tunisia.
Principally intended for export, since the Muslim culture prohibits alcohol consumption, the wines of Maghreb benefit from variable qualities. Certain productions thrive thanks to the perfect climatic conditions linked to hours of sunshine and to the presence of the Atlas mountains.
The end of the colonial period closed the French market, heretofore main market, to the producers of Maghreb. The rise of Muslim fundamentalisms in the region since then has limited the wine industry. In each of these countries, the cultivated zones have diminished by more than half in comparison their size with prior to independence.
However, the governments of the different countries have currently demonstrated their willingness to support new research and development of wines and the first results seem promising. The wines of Maghreb could definitely make a comeback on the front of the stage.