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Austrian wine exports soar

Exports of Austrian bottled wine jumped 30% in 2007, further cementing the country’s reputation for fine wine produced in small quantities.

According to Austria Statistik, which tracks domestic and international wine sales, Austria exported 35.8m litres of bottled quality wine valued at €91.8m (£72.4m/$143.9) in 2007, up from the 28.6m litres worth €69.4m (£54.7m/$109m) in 2006.

When combined with Austrian bulk wine exports, the total for 2007 reached 56m litres worth €105 million (£83m/$165m) – compared with the previous year’s 51.6m litres valued at €81.5m (£64m/$127.3m).

‘This dramatic increase proves how well the major quality efforts implemented by Austria’s winemakers have taken hold,’ said Willi Klinger, general manager of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.

‘It took several years of hard work in the vineyards and wineries before the momentum of exponential growth in exports began, in around 2000,’ he added.

‘Now, practically no other wine country in the world shows such a dynamic and innovative wine scene.’

Klinger also pointed out that while Austria is one of the world’s smallest wine countries – producing an average of 2.5m hectolitres annually from 48,000 hectares of vines – it has cemented a reputation for high quality. Indigenous varietals such as Grüner Veltliner, for example, have been winning over consumers seeking a diversion from commercial, new world style wines.

‘Cool climate wines with character and authenticity are increasingly in demand,’ he added.

Germany has been the top importer of Austrian wine since 2000, and in 2007, bought 39.5m litres, up from 35.3m in 2006.

Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the US have been consistent top importers as well, while the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the UK showed significant interest in 2007.

Written by Darrel Joseph

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