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Rhne: the vital statistics

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first piece of good news for Inter Rhne is that it has maintained its position as the number-one AOC?in the UK off-trade, having stolen the crown from Bordeaux last year.

This has been achieved by a big push towards the major multiples, and in the UK, four out of every five bottles of Ctes du Rhne wine are sold through supermarkets. In fact, two of the top four French brands in the UK?are from the Rhne.?French Connection, which is owned by Bottle Green, is in third spot, with sales in 2006 worth 15.7 million, 50% up on the year before. And La Chasse du Pape, which is represented in the UK?by Guy Anderson Wines, is in fourth place, with 12.6m sales (15% up on 2005).

The Rhne has shown the biggest growth of any French wine region over the past 12 years. As the table on page 9 shows, Ctes du Rhne wines have increased 71%?by volume and 160% by value between 1995 and 2006. This is significantly better than Bordeaux (down 12%?by volume, but up 146%?by value) and Burgundy (up 62% by volume, and up 99%?by value).

The other area that has given Inter Rhne a boost has been the ros market. Between 2003 and 2006, sales of Rhne ros have leapt 197%, from 235,000 bottles to 700,000 bottles. Half the Rhne ros sold in the UK is classified as Ctes du Rhne, and 90%?of these sales are from the Tavel AOC. The average bottle price of a ros from the Rhne is 4.40, with a Ctes du Rhne ros at 4.30, and a Cru ros way higher, at 7.50. The global average bottle price for ros is 3.94, and 3.72 for France as a whole.

Looking at price segmentation, the Rhne's fortunes are more mixed. In the 4-5 category, Rhne wines saw a 15%?increase between 2004 and 2005, while the 6-7 sector grew by 6%. However, the 3-4 category fell by 4%, and, more worryingly, the 5-6 sector decreased by 14%.

The standard market price (per hectolitres) for Rhne wines is increasing, from 86.2 to 89.2 in 2006.

In terms of global markets, the UK is the most important for Inter Rhne, with a 28% share by volume in 2006. Belgium is next, on 15%, followed by the US (which is also the fastest-growing market), on 11%.