Italy overtakes France in wine exports, New World becomes Old World!


The long dominance of France over wine exports has been broken by Italy, which has overtaken France in terms of wine exports based on volume, with sales in the last year at €4 billion.  However, France still leads the world on export sales value, at €8 billion.  Argentina and Brazil are showing strong signs of export growth too.  These findings were presented at Vinexpo in Bordeaux last week, reports The Times.

The global wine and spirit market is worth $500 billion, just under 40 % being spent on wine and 60 % on spirits.  Italian wine exports saw a 14 % growth, and the country has a 4000 year history of winemaking, with 350 grape varieties offering wine drinkers a great diversity of wines. 

Brazilian wine sales have increased by 144% in the first three months of 2011, compared to the same period of last year, the United Kingdom being its largest importer.  The country plans to gets its wines listed in the best restaurants and wine stores.

Vinexpo CEO Robert Beynat said that the time had come to stop referring to New World wines, given that Argentina, Chile and South Africa have wine industries older than 30 years, and therefore cannot be called “New World” wine producers: “After 30 years, one is no longer new. They are part of the Old World“. He said that the New World is being born, mainly focused on China and India.  China has become the seventh largest wine producer in the world, according to the International Wine and Spirit Research group.  Growth in Indian wine consumption has been 170% in the past six years, and the area of its wine production doubled in the last three years.

The USA was described as the ‘most lucrative retail market for wine’, soon to overtake Britain in volume of wine sales. The USA is estimated by Beynat to lead global wine consumption in volume terms in two years from now.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Twitter:@WhaleCottage

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One reply

  1. It makes sense considering the increasing appeal of Italian wine amongst the US’s middle class, especially the likes of Lambrusco and Moscato. Watch South America though, there’s some great value coming from both Chile and Argentina.

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