World takes to German wine

German wine sales are up across the globe, with the United States showing a particular thirst for the country's popular Riesling, according to numbers released by the Deutsches Weininstitute (German Wine Institute) on Thursday.

From July 2007 to June 2008, German wine producers netted around two million hectolitres in exports worth a total of €394 million, the Weininstitute revealed at the DWI Forums Export in Oppenheim. This makes for a worldwide increase of two percent.

With €99 million in German wine imports, the US accounted for more than a fourth of revenues – and remains the most enthusiastic importer of German wine.

“Riesling has become very trendy, especially in the US, and Germany produces 60 percent of the world’s Riesling,” Ernst Büscher, spokesperson for the Weininstitute, told The Local. German vineyards are focusing on the quality of the vine, rather than quantity of wine produced, which has helped the wines grow in popularity, he said.

While German wine imports are down in the United Kingdom, once the top-importer of German wines, other countries have increased their consumption. Revenues for exports to China are up by 53 percent, Belgium by 32 percent, Switzerland by 27 percent and Russia by 22 percent.