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Cool climates heat up

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We’ve seen an uplift in sales of wines from cool climate regions as consumers increasingly seek out lighter and fresher styles.

Wines from regions and countries known for their cooler climates, including Austria, New Zealand, and Germany’s Mosel have all seen double or triple digit growth1. Wines from these regions – typically renowned for their quality, have helped fuel the growth of our premium Wines of Distinction range, which is up 5.5% YOY2.

The move towards cool climate varietals could be attributed to consumer drinking preferences shifting away from heavier styles and embracing elegant wines with refreshing acidity and lower alcohol. This also aligns with a trend towards quality and more food-friendly wines. We’ve seen a spike in demand for grape varieties traditionally grown in cooler regions, with volume sales of Sauvignon Blanc up 12% and Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir up 278% and 22% respectively.

We’ve responded to the growing consumer demand for these lighter styles, with the introduction of wines such as Chateau Reynon Blanc from Bordeaux and the range of Shannon wines from Elgin in South Africa. A particular area of excitement is Austria where volume sales are up 103% and sales of the country’s flagship variety, Grüner Veltliner are up 14%, fuelled by high-end producers Soellner and Willi Opitz. We are also witnessing a similar thirst for premium German wine, with renowned producers such as Dr Loosen helping contribute towards a 61% surge in sales of Riesling from this region. In the New World, sales across New Zealand grow by 13%, with cooler climate areas performing particularly well - Central Otago Pinot Noir saw growth of 196% over the last 12 months. Australia’s cooler regions are also in growth with Tasmania seeing an uplift of 80%. New additions to the range such as Uno Txakoli from the Basque region of Spain and Borgo del Tiglio wines from Collio in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy are shining a light on these less discovered corners of the New World.

Simon Jerrome, Head of Wine Buying adds “Our customers are increasingly demanding cool climate wines following a growth in consumer interest in these lighter styles. Consumers are now more wine savvy than ever and appreciate the craftsmanship involved in cultivating grapes in often challenging climates; realising also that these wines are often synonymous with ‘high quality’.”

  1. All stats MC volume sales MAT to 30/6/16 unless otherwise specified
  2. Sales of wine and Champagne categorised as “Wine of Distinction” MAT to 30/6/16

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