A total of just under 339m bottles of Champagne were sold last year, 17m more than in 2006, according to recent figures.

The Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) said yesterday (4 February) that the figure represented a 5.3% increase in volume on a year earlier.

At the same time the CIVC also released its provisional sales figures by country for the period 1 December 2006 to 30 November 2007. The top three consumers of Champagne were again the UK, the US and Germany, with the US and Germany showing a slight drop in volumes, said Daniel Lorson of the CIVC. "Everything else for the top 20 markets was up apart from those two," he said.

Emerging markets which have shown particularly strong growth, Lorson said, are Russia, China and India.

The Russians drank 1.03m bottles, joining for the first time the exclusive club of about 15 countries that drink more than 1m bottles of Champagne a year, Lorson said - a 46% increase on the amount consumed in the same period in 2006.

The Chinese imported 634,000 bottles, up 30% in volume, and India 282,000 bottles, up 19%.