Wine tippling continues to trend downward

Wine tippling continues to trend downward
Swiss wine grape harvest fell by more than 10 percent due to adverse weather last year. Photo: Switzerland Tourism
Swiss residents are drinking less wine — particularly vintages from Switzerland but also those from abroad, show new government figures that confirm a trend established for the past few years.

Residents bought six million litres less wine overall in 2012 than in the previous year — a total of 267 million litres, a drop of 2.2 percent year on year, the federal office of agriculture said on Thursday.

But consumption of domestic wine took a more precipitous fall, down 3.5 percent to 97 million litres, the first time domestic intake has fallen below 100 million litres, the office said.

Imbibing of reds and whites from foreign sources dipped by 1.5 percent to 170 million litres.

Domestic varieties accounted for a little more than a third of the Swiss market at 36.3 percent (down 0.5 percent).

More than two-thirds of the wine bought in Switzerland last year (almost 70 percent) was red, of which only 27.6 percent was supplied from within the country (down 0.7 percent).

Domestic production accounted for 55.6 percent of the white wine consumed in the country, up 0.2 percent.

For the second year running, the area of land devoted to vineyards in Switzerland remained unchanged at 14,920 hectares, with grapes for red wine accounting for 58 percent of the space.

The high level of the franc against the euro made imports cheaper for Swiss consumers.

But the agriculture office noted that the country's grape harvest for wine dropped 10.4 percent in 2012 from the record levels in the previous year and was 6.7 percent lower than the average for the past five years because of adverse weather.

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