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Loire Valley sparklers herald UK uplift

Published:  02 July, 2020

Loire Valley fizz has enjoyed a surge in exports to the UK, with Crémant de Loire having jumped just shy of 50%.

According to regional body Loire Valley Wines, exports of Crémant de Loire to the UK have increased 49% in volume and 43.9% in value since 2019.

Exports of Saumur Brut sparkling are also up 17.4% in both value and volume over the same period (March 2019 to March 2020).

The growth is still from a very small base, however.

Despite being the largest region for sparkling wines in France outside of Champagne, Crémant de Loire exports to the UK were worth €5,768 in March 2020 while Saumur Brut sparkling netted €1,384.

Pierre-Jean Sauvion, president of the Communication Commission at Loire Valley Wines, said the growth is indicative of a strong “thirst” within the wider UK sparkling category, with growth for Loire Valley sparkling wines predicted to continue.

“We know that consumers can now find, in most distribution outlets in the UK, quality, traditional method sparkling wines, usually made with the now world-famous Chenin grape, for an approachable price,” he said.

“In the last three months, of course we recognised the challenges Covid-19 posed but the vines have continue to grow. With wine retail doing well in the UK compared to other markets, and knowing that we can provide an accessible offering during these challenging times, we are hopeful that this category will continue to bloom in the market.”

The UK is currently the second largest market globally for the Loire Valley after the US.

At the end of March 2020, the region had exported 14,598 hl of its AOP sparkling wines to the UK.

The majority of this is Crémant de Loire (11,665hl of a total 14, 598 hl). Figures are from Loire Valley Wines via Sopexa.