The UK's Wine & Spirit Trade Association has said that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Argentina Malbec saw the strongest sales growth in the UK in 2016.

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Argentina profited from people ‘going mad for Malbec‘, said the WSTA in its end of year report.

It said that wine drinkers in the UK bought almost 27 million bottles of Argentinian wine in the year to 5 November, up by a third on the previous year.

And New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc continued its rise.

UK drinkers bought around 63 million bottles of the style, which has its home in Marlborough, during the 12 months covered by the WSTA’s report. That’s 15% more than the previous year.


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‘Australian wine is still proving to come out top of the tables when it comes to wine sold in our supermarkets, shops and off licences – but the growth rate of New Zealand and Argentinian wine is by far the most impressive in 2016,’ said WSTA.

Prosecco also continued to grow strongly in pubs, bars and restaurants, the trade body said.

It pointed to an ongoing trend for people to drink ‘less but better’.

New Zealand wines are more expensive per bottle than any other country selling in UK retailers and the UK wine market has struggled for growth in volume terms in recent years.

However, there were signs of pressure in 2016 as New Zealand Sauvignon’s sales by value rose slightly slower than volume sales.

UK drinkers spent £546 million on New Zealand Sauvignon across shops, bars and restaurants during the WSTA reporting period, up 14% on the previous year, according to WSTA figures.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale re-iterated that wine prices are likely to rise in the New Year due to the fallout from the UK’s Brexit vote.

Sterling currency weakened ahead of the referendum and has not recovered, despite a slight rally at the end of the year.

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