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Business

German Vintners Holding Up in Weak European Wine Market

German wine growers are defying a slump in the European wine market which has dented sales in the continent's three big producers, Italy, France and Spain.

A woman drinks from a glass of wine

Despite a general trend against buying wine, German vintages are doing well

German wine growers have managed to stave off falling sales and plummeting profits that have hit other wine producing nations in western Europe.

According to the German Wine Institute (DWI), German wines have gone against the current market trend with a gain of 2.2 percent in money earned and 1.1 percent in product sold, compared to the same time last year.

Overall Germans spent 2.5 percent less on wine in the first half of 2008. The total amount sold has gone down 4.5 percent.

Despite a known trend of consumers buying less wine, German growers have been able to increase their wine sales by 54.5 percent, said DWI Director, Monika Reule. In mid- 2007 this figure was 52 percent.

Based on the amount of wine sold, the German market share rose from 46.3 percent in the first half of 2007 to 49.1 percent in 2008. Comparatively, the three largest wine exporters, Italy, France and Spain, incurred double digit loses.

The marketing organization for the German wine industry referred to data collected by the market research company GfK in Nueremberg. The average price for wine bought in both grocery and discount stores was 11 cents higher than the standard last year.

DWI said that the grocery stores have become more popular for wine sales. In the first two quarters of this year, around 73 percent of all wine was sold in grocery stores -- two percent more than last year. This development is hurting specialty stores as well as other wine sellers such as gas stations.

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