Old World wines are "fighting back" in Asda, where sales are beating those of the retailer's rivals.

In the past four weeks, like-for-like sales of French wine at Asda have grown 47% ahead of those at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and The Co-operative Group, where French wine has grown by an average 14%.

The retailer reports sales of its Iberian wines have increased 33% compared with 7% across the other multiples and its Italian line-up is 9% ahead, compared with 1% at its rivals.

Asda had concentrated on making quality Old World wine more promotable over the past year, said Asda's master of wine Philippa Carr MW. "We are determined to include Old World into our promotions and it's that kind of commitment that is paying dividends."

It had been a challenge for Asda to incorporate the wines into its promotional mechanics, she admitted, but it had "worked hard" with suppliers to achieve the sales uplift.

"You can get fantastic value from France if you know where to look," she said. "We've got customers for whom £5 is a lot of money. They need us to do the right thing."

The renewed focus on the Old World was happening as New World wines faced more challenging times after a period of soaring sales, said Carr.

Oversupply issues were continuing to blight Australia's wine trade, while the recent earthquake in Chile had hit production and put the vintage two weeks behind schedule, prompting fears of shelf-price increases.

The retailer's goal now was to grow its own-label wines, said Carr.

"We've got control. These are wines that have got my name on the back label and have my commitment to the quality and to the customer," she added. "Own label is very important to us. It says something about Asda that we're proud of ourselves and our quality."

Asda has won more medals for own-label wines than any other supermarket at this year's major wine awards ceremonies International Wine Challenge, Decanter and the IWSC.