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The future's bright - the future's rose

Published:  17 May, 2010

The UK is still the place to do business if you are in the wine trade, according to a top director.

Sending out a message to winemakers across the world David Cox, director (Europe) of New Zealand Winegrowers, said Britain was in rude health and still a "dynamic market" for those looking to sell their products.

And he said rose would continue to capture the imagination of the British public as an all-year-round wine.

Speaking at The 30th Anniversary Conference at the London ExCel ahead of the start of the London International Wine Fair tomorrow Mr Cox said: "For a small market you can sell wine in a lot of places. 

"This really is the place to be - this is where you make your reputation.

"Is the UK worth it? Yes. The UK market is in reasonable health.

"I don't want anyone to think it is the wrong place to go because we have got all the right boxes being ticked.

"People are buying more wine, they understand different wines from around the world, they know a lot about wine and we have got a fairly easy market to do business in.

"The consumer here is willing to pay a little bit more for their wine.

"We are not really a nation of cheapskates when it comes to wine, but I think we have been led down the discount path.

"Retail prices are going in the right direction, people are spending more and they are trading up - and that gives wineries with premium prices a little bit more of a reason to be cheerful."

Latest industry figures show that 58% of the UK population regularly drink wine - and that rose makes up about 13% of the market.

The average price for a bottle of wine now stands at £4.35.

Mr Cox said: "Rose has really captured the imagination of the British consumer, but rose is an opportunity that a lot of (winemakers) are overlooking.

"There are some wineries that have not yet realised the potential of rose.

"Light red, as I call it, is a style of wine that people like - we should stop looking at it as a summer or picnic wine and instead something that people really like.

"We started to take new world wine because retailers started to give it to us.

"Once the consumer saw it, they liked it and purchased it.

"Winemakers around the world are now starting to latch on to the fact that rose can be a very food-friendly wine."