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Sales of French table wine and Vin de Pays fall

Sales of 2008 French table wine and Vin de Pays have plummeted by nearly a quarter this year, according to statistics released this week.

National agricultural organisation AgriMer estimated that overall sales of last year’s wines could drop by as much as 23%, compared to last year’s figures.

The organisation said that 2.08m hl (hectolitres) of red and rosé table wine had been sold since last year’s harvest – 23% less than in 2007/2008. Volume sales of white table wine and Vin de Pays are currently down by 17% and 4% respectively.

Only supermarket sales of rose, Vin de Pays and sparkling wine registered any significant growth in volume and value sales.

Exports to the EU and worldwide had also dropped significantly since the beginning of the year, Jerome Despey, AgriMer’s wine industry boss, confirmed.

Sparkling wines and AOC wines were particularly affected by the fall exports, he added.

Despey also announced the first estimates for the 2009 wine harvest in France, with production expected to reach 48m hl – an increase of 5m hl on last year.

Regions expected to increase production on 2008 include Bordeaux, the Loire and the Rhone. Champagne production is expected to drop by nearly 20% following bad weather during flowering and continued threats of mildew.

AgriMer is a newly-formed, public-funded organisation that includes Viniflhor, the French wine, fruit and vegetable industry body.

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Written by Oliver Styles

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