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Growers Champagne offering an alternative to Prosecco this Christmas, says Virgin Wines

Published:  13 December, 2016

Grower Champagnes having been sparking consumer interest at Virgin Wines, where wine buyers are expecting sales to flourish this Christmas.

Andrew Baker, head wine buyer at the online retailer explained how Champagnes offering middle-ground between Prosecco and Champagen from the top houses have made an impact at consumer events in 2016.

"They represent great value next to the Grand Marques, are genuinely interesting stylistically. For people looking to take a step up from Prosecco, they provide an exciting route," he said.

Consumers' love for Prosecco is not going away anytime soon, however. 

As Baker says: "At the end of November we had already sold 38,000 more bottles than we sold in the whole of 2015. With our biggest month still to go we are expecting to see another 60,000 bottles sold."

Value sales of Australian reds are also picking up as consumers continue to trade up.

"We know that consumers will always look to Australia for good quality every day reds and this is a category we put a lot of focus on, however we are seeing a real trend for people trading up in this area too," Baker said.

"There are some superb, boutique Aussie reds in the £15-£20 category and people are definitely looking here when the occasion calls, perhaps over traditional old world regions where they would have previously bought from."

Sales of German wines are also expected to peak this Christmas.

"So far we have already seen a year-on-year sales uplift of 118%, and this trend comes as no real surprise to us given the huge market in the UK for clean and fresh styles of wine.

"This is an area where Germany has long excelled, particularly in recent years with its modern approach to winemaking".

Virgin Wines, an independently owned company licenced to use the Virgin brand, saw strong Christmas sales in 2015.

They are hoping to see the increase of sales up 12% year-on-year continue into the festive period 2016, helped along by the third year of its specialist wine gifting business,

According to CEO Jay Wright, the business is on course to achieve £1m worth of sales in the eight weeks running up to Christmas - double the original forecast.