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Portugal claims its wine sales are 'misrepresented' in UK

Published:  06 March, 2014

Portugal says its wine sales are being misrepresented in the UK off-trade - it claims it should be ahead of Argentina and among the top 10 importing countries.

ViniPortugal has critcised figures from FMCG data agency Nielsen, which is regularly used in the wine trade, saying "hidden channels" mean its UK business is stronger than that of Argentina.

Instead using data collected by the IVV and COMEXT, Portugal comes in as the 10th largest wine supplier in the UK with a market share of 1.3% in value and 1.9% in volume. The figures look at total imports of sparkling, bottled, bulk and Port wine into the UK rather than information collected by data agencies which only includes scanner-based sales in major retailers.

Portuguese Wine Imports by Segment 2002 - 2012Portuguese Wine Imports by Segment 2002 - 2012Source: Comext & IVVVolume and value of Portuguese wine sales between 2002 and 2012.

The figures show that in 2012, Portugal exported around 73.5 million 12-bottle cases into the UK versus 42 million from Argentina. This moves Portugal from 11th to 10th place in the list of countries supplying wine to the UK. 

Portugal's positioning in the UK marketPortugal’s positioning in the UK marketSource: ComextViniPortugal claims it should leapfrog Argentina into the UK’s top 10 importing countries when using data from Comext.

ViniPortugal claims it should leapfrog Argentina into the UK's top 10 importing countries when using data from Comext.Comext

Jorge Monteiro, ViniPortugal president, said: "The research is welcome news to supporters of Portugal who recognise that our growth is coming from outside the parameters set by the large data agencies. Portugal is being misrepresented in the UK and we want to set the record straight."

ViniPortugal also kicked off its marketing plan for the year ahead at yesterday's Annual Wines of Portugal Tasting in London. The body's Wine Academy will return with a second training module in late spring. It will be presented by Charles Metcalfe, Sarah Ahmed and Master Sommelier, Joao Pires, and will provide insight into Portuguese regions, grape types and wine styles.

Sommelier competitions Wines of Portugal Wine Quest has been developed to help build strong and lasting relationships with influential and up-and-coming sommeliers and to generate new listings.

Invited sommeliers will be required to complete a Wine Academy course before joining one of three trips to Portugal. During the trip, Wine Quest participants will select a wine to champion at a formal presentation at the Portuguese Ambassador's residence in London. Here, each sommelier will present their wine to a judging panel and undertake a test of their knowledge of Portuguese wines. Prizes include £3,000 for the winner and £1,000 each for two runners-up.