German fine wine sales ‘incredible’, says Justerini

5th January, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

In what may be a surprise to many in the trade, sales of German wine in 2016 have been “incredible”, according to fine wine merchant Justerini & Brooks.


The terraces of Germany’s famous Mosel wine region

In a letter to the merchant’s customers yesterday, Chadwick Delaney, who is managing director at Justerini & Brooks, ran through the areas of growth for the retailer in 2016, including Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône, before finishing with Germany, because he said that he was saving “the best to last”.

Noting that the London-headquartered merchant has “been proudly importing and championing” German wine “for many decades”, before admitting that the country “fell out of favour more than forty years ago”, he then stated that “The statistics for Germany this year [in 2016] are incredible.”

Continuing, he wrote that the increased sales were across Germany’s full range of wine styles, and not just the sweet Rieslings that the nation is famous for. “The growth in demand is not only in the traditional sweeter styles but also due to the newer interest in the dry styles of Riesling, plus the widening range of superb Pinot Noir now being made there.”

He added, “Our buyers also attended the famous Trier auctions this autumn and bought, for the first time ever, a large array of special, auction-only cuvées which were keenly taken up by our customers.

“In total it meant that Germany grew a staggering 576% on the prior year, with the average case price being easily the most attractive of all our key fine wine regions, at £363,” he concluded.


Sales of German wine at Justerinis grew 576% in 2016

In terms of other areas of growth, Delaney said that “Burgundy continues to shine,” recording that sales have grown “a further 24% on the year before”, while noting that the average case price has dropped slightly on 2015 (down from £961 per case to £869).

Elsewhere, he stressed the turnaround is sales of fine wine from the Rhône, “after many years of seeming disinterest”. According to Delaney, the region grew at “a staggering 441% on the previous year.”

He added, “The average case price, at £572, showing the difference the top estates of the Rhone Valley offer compared with their more fashionable rivals elsewhere.”

As for Bordeaux, he said that this was “still by far the biggest region for us and our customers”, and had “continued to come back from its long period of stagnation – showing a second consecutive year of growth, but this time more accelerated.”

He recorded that Bordeaux sales had increased by 65% on the year before, with an average sales price in 2016 of £1,218 a case.


The growth in German wines came from the great sweet Rieslings of the Mosel, such as those from JJ Prum, as well as dry Riesling and Pinot Noir

On the other hand, he expressed his disappointment at the performance of Italian fine wine in the past year. “Disappointingly, it seems that the large gains of interest in Italy that we had been seeing in recent years took a pause in 2016, with Italian sales dropping 9% on the year before, mainly driven by a less exciting primeur campaign for Barolo.

Continuing he observed the high prices fetched for top Italian wines, “Even though the average case price of Italian wine sold at Justerinis is £1,060 (down from £1,179 the year before), this surprisingly still places the country’s top wines above our Burgundy average.”

Looking ahead he then commented, “With the highly anticipated 2013 Barolo releases coming this March it will be interesting to review these sales numbers again next Christmas.”

Finally, he noted that whisky has become “a rapidly increasing area of interest with our customers, and one which we’ve been putting a lot of work into servicing.”

As a result of the merchant’s efforts, Delaney noted that the average bottle price of whisky sold at Justerini & Brooks is “now a heady £719”, adding that the retailer’s “whisky sales have almost doubled over the past two years”, making this category “a multi-million pound part of our business”.

Delaney’s report on the fine wine sales trends of 2016 in part support those of the other major UK merchants, whose views on the past 12 months we published online last year, and alongside in-depth analysis on the fine wine market in the December edition of the drinks business.

Read more


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Beer Development Specialist

Matthew Clark
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more