The impressive growth of Australian wines sales in the UK continues. For the last four months of 1999 they were the second bestselling wine region behind France. In September and October, they nudged Italy into the third place and reinforced this in November and December with promotions from the leading players such as Jacob's Creek, Penfolds and BRL Hardy. Nielsen figures show Australia claimed 16.8% of volume sales, behind France, which had 23.3%, and ahead of Italy which had 12.5%. Compared with the end of 1998, Australia's share had increased by 54.1%, France's had declined by 16.8% and Italy's by 4.6%. A spokeswoman for the Australian Wine Bureau said the end of year performance was exceptional and because of the promotional activity, the second place position might not be sustained. {{DRINKS }}