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Exports of Australian bottled wine to Germany increased by 33 percent to 6.5 million litres and value increased by 13 percent.

Germany is the fourth largest wine market in the world, with 2.5 billion litres of wine sold in 2014. By volume it is the biggest imported wine market ahead of the United Kingdom and the United States, with imports accounting for about 60 percent of the German wine market.

Germany is the second largest European country with 81 million people, of which 67 million are adults. According to Wine Intelligence, more than two-thirds of German adults drink wine – 46 million people.

It should be noted that not all volumes shipped to Germany stay in the country. Germany is a key re-export hub in Europe and, furthermore, due to the relatively low tax regime compared to some other European countries, Germany is also a key alcohol tourism destination. Hence not all wine purchased in Germany is consumed by Germans.

According to the International Wine and Spirit Record, still wine is the largest wine category in Germany (two billion litres), ahead of sparkling wine (414 million litres) and fortified and other wine (63 million litres). Germany is the largest sparkling wine market in the world.

By far the three biggest imported wine countries in 2014 were Italy (37 percent volume share), Spain (24 percent) and France (17 percent). South Africa was the biggest of the non-European producers ranked fourth (six percent). Australia was ranked seventh.

In 2014-15, Australia exported 39 million litres of wine to Germany valued at A$50 million – making Germany Australia’s fifth largest export destination by volume and eighth by value. The lower value ranking reflects that 83 percent of Australian wine was shipped to the country in bulk containers. Exports of Australian bottled wine to Germany increased by 33 percent to 6.5 million litres and value increased by 13 percent to A$23.1 million.

While Germany has long been known for its discounting culture, there has been a gradual shift toward quality over quantity. As such, a premiumisation trend was evident across most wine categories in 2014. This translated into the volume of sales falling by one percent, but the value of sales climbing by one percent.

Wine Australia recognises this premiumisation trend and is increasing its marketing efforts in Germany to promote the quality, diversity and value of Australian wine. The main event in Germany each year is the large and hugely successful ProWein trade fair, which takes place in March. In 2015, Wine Australia had 39 producers showing wines from 28 regions on the stand and presented a masterclass on ‘History, Evolution, Revolution’ to a packed audience. There is already a waiting list for the event for next year.

The key focus for Wine Australia is to educate the press and trade in Germany, to reignite the interest and passion for exceptional Australian wines, particularly among the sommelier community. In October Wine Australia hosted two masterclasses in Stuttgart and Hamburg using the ‘History, Evolution, Revolution’ theme, presented by Caro Maurer MW to an audience of press and on-trade buyers. The masterclass was accompanied by a free-pour tasting of 50 wines showcasing key varieties from diverse regions of Australia.

For more information on the German wine market contact Laura Jewell, Wine Australia’s region director – Europe, Middle East and Africa here.

Are you exporting wine to Germany? Do you export at all? Let us know!

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