Bordeaux exports to the UK doubled in value last year as the region’s exports continue to grow.

Defying the economic crisis and the drop in French wine sales to the UK, mid-priced clarets are lead the surge in Bordeaux wines, with sales of £6-10 Bordeaux wines up 118% year on year.

According to figures released by the Bordeaux wine trade body (CIVB), wines from the Medoc and Haut-Medoc appellations are especially popular. Exports of smaller, but more expensive, appellations within the Left Bank, including Pauillac and Margaux, increased by 28%.

Overall, Bordeaux wine exports to the UK rose by 13% in volume and 52 % in value in the last 12 months.

‘The figures are very encouraging’, Jean-Philippe Code, chief economist of the Bordeaux wine trade body (CIVB) told UK newspaper the Independent. ‘Britain is one of our most important markets.’

Code added that the superlative reputation of the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux was a key factor in the sales boom, despite subsequent lacklustre years.

However, Bordeaux wines at the cheaper end of the price spectrum have not experienced the same growth as their more illustrious counterparts. Sales of generic Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur wines have suffered a continued slump in sales, in line with the rest of the country. The French wine industry is currently experiencing a downturn in exports to both the UK and the US.

Total exports of cheap French wines to the UK fell by 15% this year.

As well as increased competition from other wine-producing countries, the strength of euro against the pound and the dollar has contributed significantly to the slump.

Written by Hazel Macrae