Exports keep rising for Austrian wine

08 February, 2008

Austrian wineries celebrated a rise in exports to the UK at their biggest London trade tasting so far, where nearly 100 wineries showed off their wines to the UK trade and press.

The UK is Austria's sixth-biggest export market, taking 131,000 litres of wine worth €1,841 (£1,372) in 2007, up from 88,000 litres and €1,683 (£1,256) in 2006.

Austrian wines, which in the past were rarely to be seen outside expensive restaurants and high-end wine merchants, are gaining exposure thanks to more listings in supermarket fine wine sections.

While Austria's average bottle price remains one of the highest in the UK off-trade at £7.14, the tasting revealed some excellent wines in the £5-£7 bracket.

The country's flagship grape Grüner Veltliner was the undisputed star of the tasting. Insiders said that interest in Austrian reds, from grapes such as Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt, is growing.

Andrew Higgs of Richards Walford said: "Blaufränkisch is causing a little bit of a stir. It is a good wine to move on to from the New World because it ha s got this vibrancy and juicy character."

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