In 2016 Swiss residents drank 235 million litres of wine in total, or 40 bottles per person, said the federal agriculture office (BLW) on Tuesday.
That’s 10 million litres or 3.8 percent down on the previous year.
Swiss wines particularly suffered, with consumption down nearly ten percent on the previous year.
“The demand for Swiss wines could not be entirely satisfied due to the poor quantities of grapes harvested in Switzerland between 2013 and 2015,” said the BLW.
While wine-lovers in the country drank considerably less Swiss white wine in 2016 (down 13.1 percent), they were able to compensate by drinking foreign whites, whose sales grew by 1.9 percent.
However red wines were less popular in general, with Swiss reds down 6.3 percent and foreign reds down 0.9 percent.
The fact that, overall, consumption of imported wines was also down – if only by 0.2 percent – indicates a “new trend” in Swiss drinking habits, said the BLW.
Stocks of Swiss wines were replenished in 2016, a good year for domestic wine-growers, who were able to produce an above-average quantity of wine.
“Thus for the first time since 2012 stocks of Swiss wines rose again last year by 8.3 percent,” said the BLW.
It looks unlikely that this year will follow suit. The winegrowing season has not started well for Swiss producers, after a period of dry, warm weather was followed in late April by ground frost that damaged flowering vines in many parts of the country.
Orchards were also affected, with producers of apricots, cherries, apples and pears likely to see reduced harvests this year.
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