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American wines rank second in the UK, overtaking the French

Par Vitisphere Le 23 décembre 2008
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American wines rank second in the UK, overtaking the French

According to market analysts Nielsen, France lost the place of first wine supplier of the UK to Australia five years ago. In 2008, France lost its second place to the US in the ranking of Britain's wine suppliers. Sales of US wines grew by 5 per cent to £781 million in the year to November, while French sales fell by 3 per cent to £780 million. Production volumes of US wines have also outperformed France's, growing 3 per cent to 140 million litres, while France's slipped 7 per cent to 130 million litres.

Stewart Blunt, of Nielsen, commented: "France has traditionally had a lot in the under-£3 sector, with vin de pays and cheap Bordeaux. That chunk of the market has lost quite heavily over the past six months."

Prices have favoured American wine, with the average bottle costing just £4.15, compared to French wine at £4.46. Also, the American wine industry has been able to launch successful products that turned into big hits, such as Californian rosé, whose sales climbed by 17 per cent in the year to October while French rosé slipped by 9 per cent in volume and 5 per cent in value.

John McLaren, California Wine Institute's trade director in the UK, insisted on the key role played in the competition by the 'consumer- friendly' approach of Californian wines. "The Californians do very well what the French don't – which is to find out what the customer wants," he said. "But there is no doubt some of the finest wines on earth are made in France."

[Source : The Telegraph ]

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