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Double-digit UK growth for Rías Baixas Albariño

Published:  12 November, 2019

Britain's thirst for Albariño wines from Galicia, in Spain, continues to grow with Rías Baixas DO wine exports to the UK jumping by 21% in volume and 23.5% in value in the last year.

Wine exports to the UK rose to 1.8 million litres during the 2018/2019 campaign - between September 1 2018 and August 30t 2019 - up from the 1.46 million litres exported during the same period between 2017 and 2018, according to the Rías Baixas DO wine board.

The value of these exports to the UK rose to €8.5m during the 2018/2019 campaign up from the €6.7m recorded during 2017/2018, Rías Baixas DO told Harpers.

It said average prices for all export markets had increased by 3.3% from €5.43 to €5.61 per litre, but declined to provide specific wine export price figures for the UK market.

During the 2018/2019 campaign, total Rías Baixas DO wine exports increased by 12.57% in value to €43.7m and by 8.9% in volume to 7.8 million litres, when compared to figures from the previous campaign.

The UK is the second biggest market for DO Rías Baixas wine exports, after the US. In volumes, it accounted for 23.3% of total Rías Baixas DO wine exports.

Most Galician Albariño white wines exported to Britain are made in the Rías Baixas DO.

“The majority of DO Rías Baixas exports are young Albariño white wines, but increasingly, there is a tendency to export Albariño wine aged on the lees, or those which are aged in barrels or other ageing vessels,” said a spokesman from the Rías Baixas DO.

The rise of Albariño exports to the UK in recent years has fuelled interest in other Galician white wines from the region’s sub-areas of Ribeiro, Monterrei and Valdeorras as well as red and white wines from Ribeira Sacra.

Albariño wines are best known for their production in Spain and Portugal, but the variety is increasingly taking hold around the world, from Uruguay to California, Australia and New Zealand.

It is one of the grape varieties which Bordeaux has permitted producers to plant next year.

Of the 38 white wines selected in the Wines of Spain awards this year, 13 were from the Rías Baixas DO. A further three white wines were from elsewhere in Galicia.