UK consumers will see more Spanish white wines appearing in the future as producers continue to invest in raising their profile, according to Wines of Spain's UK head.
"The market is in a different mood from five or six years ago," said María José Sevilla. "People are really looking for something fresh and different."
Earlier this year, off-trade wine buyers confirmed that they were starting to list more Spanish white wines. At September's Rethink Rioja campaign, supermarket buyers said consumers were happy to explore Spanish whites but, initially, this was likely be under the Rioja label, which they trusted. Sevilla agreed that it made sense if the Rioja region became the vanguard for Spanish white wines in the UK, but she said the group was putting emphasis on regions that showed potential, and interest in Spanish wine was growing.
The off-trade recorded a 3% growth in volume sales
of Spanish wines for the year to 15 July, according to ACNielsen, compared with a 1% growth for the overall wine market. Branded Spanish wines showed the most growth - up 7% - and branded rosé wines showed an uplift of 30%, although from a small base. Own-label Spanish wine was the only area to record a volume decline. Sevilla said the UK could expect more brands from Spain next year.
"Our aim is to position Spain as a modern, diverse wine-making country," she said. "We want to gain a double-figure market share of the fine wine market."