What Sales Figures Say About French Wine Consumption

Wine consumers in the United States are consuming more Bordeaux than in previous years according to numbers recently released by the Bordeaux Wine Council.

Year-end 2021 sales of the popular French varietal increased 67% in value to peak at $395 million, and 24% in volume over 2020 sales. 

The 2021 figures represented the highest ever volume sales increase of Bordeaux wines to the U.S. over a 12-month period since 1985. The United States was the second largest export market for Bordeaux wines by volume and valuable.

Bernard Farges, president of the Bordeaux Wine Council, said the suspension of the 25% tariffs on French wines contributed to their success and that the results coincided with new benchmarks in sustainability. As of Fall 2021, more than 75% of Bordeaux vineyards are certified sustainable, an all-time high that Farges said had driven positive trade and consumer recognition.

The Bordeaux Wine Council was created by the French Law dated August 18, 1948. It unites representatives from the three families in the Bordeaux wine industry: winegrowers, merchants and traders.

“We are thrilled with our sales results in the U.S.,” Farges said. “It is a credit to the people of Bordeaux and our many U.S. partners to have overcome recent challenges and create opportunity for growth across a wide range of Bordeaux wines.”

Upward sales trends have impacted 65 of Bordeaux’s diverse appellations and all wine styles: reds, dry whites, rosé, sweet, and sparkling wines. 

Red wines remain the most prominent category, but dry white Bordeaux wines have become increasingly popular — the U.S. is now the number one market for dry white Bordeaux, representing 5.2 million bottles in annual sales. 

Overall, American consumers have supported growth across a wide range of Bordeaux wines ranging from more affordable, everyday selections to classified growths from prestige appellations such as Médoc (Pauillac, St. Estèphe, Saint Julien, Margaux), Graves and Saint-Émilion.

The Council said the Bordeaux wine region would continue its investment in dynamic U.S. marketing and education campaigns that support increased consumer and trade awareness, including outreach to young consumers and buyers who place a high value on sustainability.

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