Champagne growers posted a slight lift in sales last year, according to trade body Syndicat Général des Vignerons de la Champagne (SGVC)

The organisation said earlier this week that global turnover last year came in at EUR4.4bn (US$5.54bn), an increase of 7.3% on 2010. The performance represents Champagne's third highest turnover recorded, after 2007 and 1999.

In volume terms, the region shipped almost 323m bottles in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 1.1%. The average gross price per bottle (ex-cellar and excluding taxes) rose 6% on 2010 to EUR13.65.

The UK remained the leading export destination for Champagne last year, taking 34.5m bottles, down 2.7% on 2010. In second place was the US, with 19.4m bottles, up 14.4%.

The SGVC covers co-operatives, Champagne houses and independent producers.