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EU sparkling wine exports rise by 29%

According to data released by the European Commission, exports of sparkling wine from the European Union to non-EU countries increased by 29% between 2020 and 2021.

The upwards trajectory of sparkling wine exports, rising to 636 million litres in 2021 (as opposed to 494 million l in 2020), marked the continuation of what has otherwise been an upwards trajectory over the last decade. The 2020 figure is the outlier, with a 6% drop in the number of exports compared to 2019 due to the disruption of the pandemic denting on-trade sales in particular.

However, it seems that EU sparkling exports bounced back significantly in 2021, with the figure also 21% up on the 2019 level of 528 million litres.

Prosecco constituted the lion’s share of exports, at 43% (273 million l), followed by Champagne at 15% (94 million l) and then Cava with 10% (65 million l). The particular success of Prosecco has been attributed by research from Nomisma to the surging popularity of rosé expressions on the US market.

Indeed, the largest non-EU market for EU-produced sparkling was the United States, with a 31% share (198 million l). However, the United Kingdom, despite its significantly smaller population and Brexit, was close behind, with 28% of extra-EU sparkling wine exports going there (177 million l).

By contrast, imports of sparkling wine into the EU from non-EU member states remained minor, at just 5.8 million l, less than 1% of the EU export figure. Whether the export figure of UK-produced sparkling wine improves due to the granting of PDO status to Sussex Sparkling last summer remains to be seen.

In related news, Champagne producers expect to celebrate further record sales, following 2021’s all-time high of €5.7 billion.

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