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German wines sell well even in global financial gloom

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German wines sell well even in global financial gloom
Photo:DPA
12:54 CEST+02:00
The German wine industry seems immune from the global financial crisis, with sales at home as well as abroad unaffected by the crash.

“The horrific stories about the economy are not applicable to us,” said Steffen Christmann, chairman of the Association of Quality Wine Producers.

Rather than a reduction in sales as people cut back on luxuries, he said some areas were even ordering more wine than before the world economy started to stutter.

“As well as the trend to regionalisation, where people demand products from their local areas, we still have the globalisation tendency,” Christmann said.

He said what was remarkable was the advance of German wines into countries previously thought to be impervious to the appeal of Riesling and Grauburgunder. People in Spain and Italy are buying German wine, he said – adding that even in France sales were up. “Although this is really just a beginning,” he said.

He said discussions were taking place about how the new European Union wine labelling rules, introduced last December, had affected sales. These meant that the name of the vintner, as well as grape varieties and certain descriptions of taste were included, but that German terms such as spätlese or Kabinett had less prominence.

“Until now in Germany it was possible to combine the origin of the grape with all kinds of grape varieties and qualities,” said Christmann.

He said this had led to some confusion among customers who could end up getting two very different wines from the same winery.

“It did make sense to limit the endless combinations,” he said. But he added it was important to maintain the German traditions and variety.

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