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Consumption of local wine rises again

The vineyards in the Lavaux along Lake Geneva are one of the main Swiss wine-growing regions Keystone

After years of decline, the consumption of Swiss wines – mainly produced in the cantons Valais, Vaud and Ticino – increased in 2013, helped by government measures to promote local production.

The total wine consumption rose 2% to 273 million litres, as people increasingly drank white wines. The consumption of all Swiss wines rose 10% to 107 million litres, while that of foreign wines – mainly imported from France, Italy, Spain and South Africa – dropped 2.6% to 166 million litres, the Federal Office for Agriculture said on Tuesday.

In December 2012, parliament agreed to spend CHF10 million to pay for the declassification of local wine. Wineries were able to lower the classification of wines with a DOC designation of origin to a simple table wine in order to sell them more cheaply, helping them to reduce their ample stocks of 2011 vintages.

“Part of the increased consumption is due to the market support measures agreed upon by parliament in 2012,” the office said in a release. “The development of the consumption should be observed over several years to draw conclusions, but it seems that Swiss wines are once more on a tear.”

Swiss winegrowers increasingly cultivated popular merlot and specialty grapes like syrah, humagne rouge or pinot gris, while the cultivation of more traditional types such as gamay, pinot noir, and chasselas declined.

The consumption of Swiss white wines increased by seven million litres to 53 million litres, while that of red wine rose by three million to 53 million litres.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR