Less than half of UK wine drinkers think region is important when they buy wine, a new report says.

In the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest Consumer Intelligence survey, 48% of respondents said that region or origin is important, while 59% said country is important when making the buying decision.

This will come as no surprise to major producers such as Lindeman’s, Blossom Hill and Echo Falls. All are now producing wine in a number of countries under the same brand.

Clare Griffiths, VP European Consumer Marketing for Constellation Europe said country of origin and regionality were low on the list for Echo Falls consumers.

‘What is important to these consumers is the right taste profile, a recognisable grape variety and an easy drinking wine at the right price,’ she added

The survey also shows promotions are more important than ever. 77% of respondents said discounts like three for £10, or money off deals were very important to their buying decision. This is compared to 61% three years ago.

The report also showed Pinot Grigio has overtaken Sauvignon Blanc as the UK’s second most popular white grape variety.

Pinot Grigio is experiencing a surge in popularity with 54% of the UK’s regular wine drinkers consuming it in the past six months. While Chardonnay maintains its leadership of the UK white wine market, it has lost fans in the past three years.

Sergio de Luca, director of buying for Italian specialist Enotria, told decanter.com, ‘The strength of Pinot Grigio sales, despite euro exchange rate problems and duty increases, demonstrates the flexibility of the grape variety.

‘It shows that the neutrality of this wine makes it easier for consumers to choose it’.

Wine Intelligence, for the WSTA, surveyed 3,059 regular UK wine drinkers between March and April 2009.

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Written by Rebecca Gibb