Beaujolais exports continue to rise

Exports of Beaujolais to the UK continued to rise in 2017, making the French region one of the fastest-rising of all French regions.

Figures released by BusinessFrance show that Beaujolais exports in 2017 rose 24% by volume and 21% in value on 2016, in third place for exports behind Provence and South-West France.

In total, exports to the UK for 2017 were over 41,000 hectolitres worth just over €16 million, with exports very much focused on cru wines which represented over 17,000hl worth just over €9m.

The entry-level category for Beaujolais in particular boomed in 2017, rising 55% in volume and 84% in value.

The crus have also seen good growth, up 7% in volume and 10% in value; a potential sign that they are increasingly being seen as true fine wines.

It was a slightly less happy story for Beaujolais Villages however, volumes declined 15% and value by 12%.

Overall, however, Beaujolais is in a strong position having re-established itself as a wine region of note over the last eight to 10 years or so, helped along by a run of strong vintages since 2009 and a focus on quality wines as opposed to Beaujolais Nouveau.

Gamay too is part of a wave of varieties that are increasingly popular among younger, knowledgeable wine consumers and actively promoted by the on-trade and independent off-trade, which makes Beaujolais a popular and more high-profile option in these places.

Outside of Europe, exports to the US and Asia were also strong. In the US exports rose 12% by value and 7% in volume which puts that market in front of Japan.

Meanwhile, China (including Hong Kong) entered the to five export markets for the first time, overtaking Belgium in terms of volume with a growth of 8.2% and 15% in terms of value.

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