German wine sales in the UK are ‘soaring’ at the top end, according to Wines of Germany.

The category may have seen a sales slump since its 1970s heyday, but in the £5+ sector Germany is the third-fastest-growing country, behind Italy and New Zealand, with sales up by 31%.

Although market analysts AC Nielsen’s statistics show Germany on a downward trend, Wines of Germany’s Nicky Forrest told decanter.com the figures ‘clearly show [UK] consumers are now willing to spend more on German wines’.

‘In the £4–5 category, Germany is the second-fastest-growing country, with sales up by 22%,’ she said. ‘More and more consumers are looking for wine around the 12% alcohol level these days, and Germany is in a very strong position to deliver the right style of wine at this level.’

Tesco has increased the number of Rieslings in its range by 43%, and now lists 24 German white wines. Buying manager for Germany David Peck said that German Rieslings above £6 are ‘showing impressive growth’, and stressed that it is ‘important to remember that German wine does not necessarily mean medium-sweet, aromatic, inexpensive, Müller-Thurgau-dominated white wines’.

Waitrose buyer Andrew Shaw said he believes that the German wine industry has undergone a ‘dramatic change’ over the past 10 years.

‘A new movement, led by young winemakers, is guiding the industry into the 21st century,’ he said.

Waitrose lists 16 German dry whites, 10 of which retail for more than £5, and seven for at least £7.49.

‘German wines has become less of a mystery to consumers,’ said Forrest. ‘Germany produces almost two-thirds of the world’s Riesling, and the scope here is enormous.’

Written by Stuart Peskett