A French group has questioned official wine consumption statistics, saying they represent an overestimation tailor-made for the anti-drink lobby.

Announcing revised figures of 43 litres per person per year at a press conference yesterday (19 March), the French Association de la Presse du Vin (APV) said official figures of 54 litres per person were "simplistic".

The national statistics office (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques) merely divides the amount of wine sold by the number of inhabitants, the APV said.

"They don't include 60-80m tourists per year," said Michel Bettane, APV president, nor over the border purchases or wine bought in transit.

The APV examined official figures, with a prominent statistician, because of the now grave situation for wine companies in France.