It’s now official: American wine sales overtook French in the United Kingdom for the first time in 2008.
The figures, from analyst ACNielsen, show U.S. volumes also increased. America produced 15.6 million cases compared to France’s 14.5 million — an increase of 3 percent versus a drop of 7 percent.
Ninety-five per cent of American wine is produced in California.
Stewart Blunt of ACNielsen said, “France has traditionally had a lot in the [low-end] sector, [including] cheap Bordeaux. That chunk of the market has lost quite heavily over the past six months.
“While American wine is making progress, France has been sliding back, making the overtaking a bit easier.”
France is now third in the wine consumption league table, with Australia first for the last five years with 23 percent of the market. Italy is fourth, overtaken by California in 2003.