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Swiss turn away from a tipple

Continuing the trend of recent years, the Swiss drank less wine in 2011 than in 2010, with Swiss wines less in favour than imported wines.

The Federal Agriculture Office said on Thursday that consumption of wine declined 2.3 per cent in 2011 to 2.74 million hectolitres (one hectolitre is 100 litres). It said the continued decline reflected the difficult economic circumstances in recent years.

Consumption of Swiss wines, both red and white, declined by nearly 50,000hl. Consumption of imported red wines declined by 23,000 hl whereas consumption of imported white wines rose by 8,450hl.

The Agriculture Office said wine stocks for both imported and local wines increased by 3.4 per cent, due in part to a particularly plentiful Swiss vintage in 2011 which surpassed the average harvest of the past three years.

Italy remains the lead exporter of wine to Switzerland with 37 per cent of the market, followed by France (23 per cent) and Spain (21 per cent). However, imports of Italian, French and US wines declined in 2011, while imports from Spain, Portugal and Germany increased.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR