Whites drive Burgundy exports to UK, while reds take a dive



19 November 2019

Burgundy’s white wines have enjoyed growth in the UK, according to the trade organisation for the region. Meanwhile, exports of red wine have fallen sharply.

The Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) said that overall sales to the UK for the first eight months of 2019 were up 2.1% by volumes but down 1.4% in value terms. White wines were up in terms of both volume (9.3%) and revenue (4.4%).

‘The UK was the leading export market for the four Chablis appellations and Mâcon AOCs,’ the trade body said. ‘These appellations accounted for 29% and 32% of Bourgogne exports respectively. This helped drive growth for white wines overall.’

The region’s red wine exports to the market, however, fell 27.8% in volumes and slipped 9.4% in terms of revenue. Crémant de Bourgogne saw volumes rise (up 8%), though they fell 6% in terms of value.

The BIVB warned that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit still ‘hangs over the British wine sector’.

Speaking about the 2019 vintage, the trade group said the year follows the rule that since the start of the 20th century, ‘every vintage that has ended with a nine has been wonderful’.

2019 did however, yield below-average volumes, with estimates coming in at 1.2 million hectolitres. The 2018 harvest - a bumper year - stood at 1.8 million, while the average is 1.5 million.

The BIVB said the smaller vintage will have limited impact since it comes at a time ‘when companies have decent stock levels thanks to the 2018 vintage’.

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