Exports of Alsace wines to the UK have grown 27.8% in volume in the first seven months of 2013, according to regional body IVA (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace).

CIVA said that is well ahead of global export growth of 3.1% and noted that Ireland too has experienced a strong increase of 25.4%.

Export Manager Foulques Aulagnon said: “We are delighted with these positive figures, and believe there are a number of contributory factors.  

“Our region is rich in diversity – soils, microclimates, altitudes – and our wines are recognised as being of high quality.  We also effectively benefit from a dual personality giving us the best of two worlds:  the varietal approach of the northern European winemaker combined with the French tradition of terroir and gastronomy.

Finally, we changed the focus of our UK communications programme around two years ago to concentrate on creating opportunities to allow our wines to speak for themselves – to key press, key trade and also direct to Consumers.  This included the implementation of a strong and innovative online and social media strategy.  It seems that the UK has liked what our wines have to say.”

The dates for the start of the 2013 harvest in Alsace have now been set by the Association des Viticulteurs d’Alsace.  They are later than in the previous two decades as a result of the cold spring conditions, which were followed by a dry July.

It is anticipated that harvest volumes will be down in relation to previous years – 980,000 hl as opposed to the usual figure of 1.1 million hl.  

But CIVA added that the vintage promises to be good quality, in particular for the Pinot family of grapes.