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Burgundy exports to hit all-time high

Exports of Burgundy wines last year look set to hit a record high, with initial reports indicating an increase of 25% in volume on 2006.

Overall, Burgundy wine trade body, the BIVB, said exports reached 95.6m bottles in the first 10 months of 2007, and sales were worth €589m (£439m, US$874m).

The BIVB believes exports for the full year could easily hit 115m bottles, breaking the current 1998 record of 104m bottles exported.

‘We had two very good vintages – 2005 and 2006 – and we’ve worked hard on export markets,’ said Jean-Luc Aegerter of Burgundy negociant and producer Maison Aegerter. The company saw a 50% rise in his exports last year.

‘There is still the Sideways effect, pushing pinot noir sales,’ said Delphine Boutier, of Albert Bichot, another Burgundy producer, referring to the American film which lauded pinot noir wines.

‘We could do no wrong on the sales side in 2007, and that is despite the dollar exchange rate problems,’ she added.

Five years ago, wine exports represented 45% of total sales. According to the BIVB this has now increased to 50%.

Both Aegerter and Boutier also said the extremely high prices and general media frenzy over the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux had a positive knock on effect for Burgundy.

‘The 05 and 06 Bordeaux grand crus are always more expensive, and the 2005 Burgundies are never less good,’ said Aegerter.

Written by Sophie Kevany

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