Californian wine producers are stepping up the battle against their European rivals. They hope their country’s recent sales victory over Italy will fuel retailers’ interest in less well-known vineyards in the region.
The Grocer reported two weeks ago that California had helped the US overtake Italy as the third bestselling wine producing country in the UK.
Now producers are targeting buyers with unusual blends and varietals from untapped areas as they look to match a 20% increase in value last year, taking sales to £441m.
Talking at the Wine Institute of California’s tasting in London, its UK director, John McLaren, said: “Seventy-five percent of buyers are expected to purchase more California wine in 2004.
“We are starting to talk about the regions within California as the trade doesn’t know the geographical size. We don’t want to drag areas like the Napa Valley down, we want to bring others up.”

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