Loire Valley wines limit Covid-induced damage to sales

Friday March 05 2021 by Vitisphere

 Although there is as yet no end in sight for the Covid crisis, Lionel Gosseaume continues to pin his hopes on a brighter future. Although there is as yet no end in sight for the Covid crisis, Lionel Gosseaume continues to pin his hopes on a brighter future.

After a particularly turbulent year in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, “the Loire Valley has pulled through honourably, but its export progress has slowed”, summed up Lionel Gosseaume, chairman of the Loire wines marketing board (InterLoire). Over 2020, winery shipments in the Anjou, Nantes and Touraine regions fell by 4.7%, according to InterLoire. Rosés showed the strongest increase (+10% by volume) and reds were stable (at +1%), whereas whites and quality sparkling wines posted strong declines (-6% and -11% respectively). As the leading sales outlet (with 78% of sales), France maintained its volume and value performance in supermarkets, with Loire still appellation wines growing by 1% in volume and 2.3% in value. “For supermarkets, this is a pleasant surprise. We are bucking the trend in the domestic market”, commented Gosseaume. The Touraine winegrower pointed out that although there are no figures for the hospitality industry, wine merchants and direct-to-consumer sales, “when restaurants are closed, you can’t expect miracles…”

With exports rising by 1.5% in volume in 2020, Loire wines posted “good export performances. We held out quite well considering the situation”, said Gosseaume, who balanced the results by adding: “the momentum of export growth is not as strong as it was”.

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