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South America pips Italy into second place for UK drinkers

Published:  21 February, 2019

There has been a shift at the top of the UK’s hotly contested wine rankings, with the combined sales of South American heavyweights Chile and Argentina overtaking Italy, the UK’s second most quaffed region, in terms of value.

Nielsen sales figures for still wine for the past year show Chile (+4.1%) and Argentina’s value sales (+11.2%) rack up a combined market share of 12.6%.

This puts South America collectively just ahead of Italy in value sales, which sits at 12.5%.

Australia continues to sit at the top of the pile, leading the way in the UK’s shops and supermarkets with an unrivalled 21.2% share of still wine trade.

Concha y Toro UK GM Simon Doyle said: “Three years ago, we highlighted South America’s rapid progress up the table of the most popular wine origins, when it first overtook South Africa and then Spain when treated as a single region.

“It is impressive to see this upward trend persist, as shoppers continue to discover and enjoy the diverse range of wines from South America.”

Nielsen’s data also revealed Malbec continues to win shoppers’ favour and share of the grape market.

Argentina’s premiere grape now sits in third place, pushing down Spanish flagship Tempranillo.

Malbec is now worth £232.1m in the UK, behind Shiraz (£331.8m) and Merlot (£326.1m).

All figures to 26.1.19.

Discover more about South America in our latest supplement out with next week's March edition of Harpers.