A focus on Riesling has driven the growth of German wine exports, according to the country's wine trade association.

The value of German wine exports soared 11% over the last 12 months, said the German Wine Institute (DWI) today (7 August). Volumes were up in the period by 4%.

"Around 60% of the world's Riesling vines are in Germany so our marketing strategy has been to focus on this, and to good effect, as interest in the grape variety has soared internationally," said Steffen Schindler, export marketing director at the DWI.

The UK remained Germany's biggest wine export market with sales standing at EUR120m (US$154.3m).

The DWI said domestic sales were given a boost by this summer's football World Cup. The institute said an exclusive sponsorship deal with FIFA, football's world governing body, was key to the growth in sales.