Australian wines help quench US thirst

Reported by AAP
Friday, February 1, 2013

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US residents now make up the largest wine market in the world, and Australian producers are helping to quench their thirst.

Analyst Jon Fredrikson this week told a major industry gathering in th US that Americans consumed 13 per cent of all the wine produced globally.

US production rose two per cent last year to help meet the demand, he told the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium on Wednesday.

But bulk wine imports from Argentina, followed by Chile and Australia, also helped.

New Zealand had boosted its planted acreage by almost a quarter and was expected to become a bigger player, especially with production of sauvignon blanc.

Wine consumption is decreasing in France and Italy, so increasingly foreign producers are aiming for the US market.

Overseas wines now account for 35 per cent of sales in the US

According to the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Fredrikson said, consumers were driven to cheaper imports by grape shortages in the US in 2010 and 2011 that resulted in higher prices for domestic wines.

Even the Charles Shaw label - known affectionately as "Two Buck Chuck" - was forced to raise prices this month by 50-US cents per bottle.

One of the biggest sales success stories was Modesto-based Gallo, which saw sales increase by nine per cent in 2011 and five per cent last year.

29/07/2014 14:38Sydney, Australia. 29 July,2014
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