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Indy 500 survey is the most useful

Published:  18 January, 2007

The Indy 500 survey, as reported in Harpers magazine in recent weeks, was prompted by a number of California wineries seeking routes to the UK market other than via the major retailers.

Competitive pricing is important, but average prices here are way above the norm - and it seems we are talking about a sector worth 500m, which is not only growing healthily - in contrast to the market as a whole - but is also expected to go on growing, in a quarter of cases by over 10% per year.

We expected to reveal a vibrant sector, but have been surprised how significant this style of business has become.

We should all take pains to address the needs of independents. Perhaps now we have some of the tools to help us to do so.

John McLaren is UK director of Wine Institute of California and sponsor of the Indy 500 report.