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Spanish wine storms into second place at Laithwaite's

Published:  25 March, 2014

Spain has become its second-biggest category for Laithwaite's wine in the UK market, after sales rocketed by 10% since July 2013.

Spain now makes up 16% of UK sales, in bottle numbers. According to Laithwaite's Spain buyer, Beth Willard, the growth has been driven by increasing interest in modern-style whites including Godello and Albariño and a growing demand for Spain's more premium reds - which now make up 12% of sales over £20 a bottle, a growth from just 4% in July 2013.

Willard joined the business in 2012, and has focused hard on adding more unusual grape varieties such as a new release from the Vidadillo grape, an almost extinct variety from Aragon, alongside the more commercial bestselling wines.

Spain is also now the number one European category for the Laithwaite's Wine business in Australia, driven by sales of oak-matured reds.

Laithwaite's, set up in 1969 by Tony Laithwaite, lists around 1,400 wines. It is still a family-owned business and part of the Direct Wines group, which has annual sales of around £350 million. Direct Wines comprises Laithwaite's Wine, Averys, Virgin Wines (in the US and Australia), WSJ wine from the Wall Street Journal (US) and the Sunday Times Wine Club (UK).  The group employs around 1,000 people globally. Its stores are located in Beaconsfield, Bracknell, Croydon, Hersham, Locksbottom, London, Solihull, Surbiton, Theale - Reading, Virginia Water, and Windsor.