Cool-climate wines boost French exports

Cool-climate wines from Northern France have seen strong export growth in the last year, despite a smaller than average harvest.

Loire vinesOverall French wine exports dropped 1.4% in volume in 2015, it said compared to the previous year, with FranceAgriMer
 reporting AOC wines down 1.5% for AOC and PGI wines down 5%.

However cool climate wines remained stable and saw a boost to export volumes, with key US and UK markets seeing notable growth.

The Loire and Burgundy were described as the “powerhouses” of the first half of the year, with wines from the Loire Valley and Centre-Loire recording their highest growth in the first six months. Wine from the Loire Valley saw exports up 6% overall, boosted by a 10% leap in exports to the US, while Centre-Loire also grew 6% in the 7 months to July (source: Inter-branch organisations and winegrower associations). Yields in the Loire Valley in 2016 were recorded as higher than average, with the hot September weather summer giving good quality Cabernet Franc and Gamay although some Chenin vineyards were affected by hail in the Loir et Cher.

The UK remained the Loire region’s key market with around 18,000 HL sold to the UK each year.

Despite yields in Burgundy falling to 1.15 million HL from an average 1.5 million HL due to frost and hail in the Spring, the region also saw gains from the UK, recording a17.7% rise in wine exports to this market. Meanwhile Beaujolais saw exports up 1.6% in the first seven month, and Alsace saw markets outside Europe grow 2.7%.

The data was released by VinoVision Paris, a new trade show for cool-climate wines, which will launch in Paris in February.  The show is organised by Comexposium and the Association des Vignobles Septentrionaux (AVS), an organization formed by the trade associations from the Loire Valley (Interloire and CentreLoire), Burgundy’s BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne), Champagne’s SVC (Syndicat des Vignerons de la Champagne) and Alsace’s CIVA (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace).

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