Wine sales climb 3.8pc as cut in excise duty halts shopping exodus to North
PEOPLE are going back on the vino after a disastrous drop in wine sales last year was halted by a cut in excise duty.
New figures show wine sales are up 3.8pc so far this year, helping reverse a drop of 10pc last year, when wine lovers were travelling to the North in droves to stock up on cheaper bottles. However, sales of champagne and champagne wine were down slightly as people opted instead for bottles of red, and preferably Australian and Chilean bottles.
The Irish Wine Association Chairman Philip Robinson said that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's cut in excise duty in the last budget had brought about the improvement in overall sales.
However, he said the market was still challenging as a result of lower consumer spending and declining tourism and called on the Government to cut excise further in the December Budget.
Wine is an increasingly important part of the Irish drinks industry, accounting for 17.6pc of all alcohol sales, up from 12.3pc in 2000.
However, Irish taxes on wine are still among the highest in the EU.
Irish people drank an average of 15.4 litres of wine each last year, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe.