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German premium wines outstripping supply

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK's thirst for German premium wines is steadily increasing, according to the latest figures from Wines of Germany.


The value of retail sales in the UK export market - the largest market for the wines - increased by 6.7% between May 2006 and April 2007.

Volume sales of wines particularly the 6-7 sector has risen by 123% in the past two years (12,000 cases, an increase of 6,719 cases), volume sales of wines priced 5 rose 22% in the same period.

This growth has been echoed in the on-trade with specialist supplier The Wine Barn reporting year-on-year growth of 25% of German wine in high-class establishments.

The UK is becoming more partial to German red and ros wines. Retail sales rose by 74% value and 20% volume in the last year.

In the USA, German wine sales rose 27.2% in the last year and the volume by 15.6%.

Riesling accounts for the majority of sales in the USA, but Pinot Noir (Sptburgunder) is also a key growth area.

Red wine varieties now account for 37% of German acreage and Germany is now the world's third largest producer of Pinot Noir, with more land under this vine than Australia, New Zealand and Chile combined.

However, Wines of Germany warned that despite the rise in demand, a "lower than average harvest yield" means that many producers have very little of the 2006 vintage left to sell.

This year, Germany expects to harvest grapes two weeks early due to the early spring, a Wines of Germany spokeswoman told