Wine industry leaders are upbeat about the performance of the wine sector despite a struggling global economy.

Speaking at WineFuture 2009 in Rioja, Xavier Pages, CEO of Grupo Codorniu, said today (12 November): "It's undeniable that the crisis has had an impact of the world of wine. This downturn is a big one but the wine industry is in an unbeatable position after a decade of growth and opening up of new markets.

"From a long-term perspective the events of the past few months are relative. There has been unparalleled growth in the major markets in the past 10-15 years."

Pages pointed to "incredible" growth of US wine sales between 2002 and 2007 and highlighted that India's wine market is growing five times faster than beer and spirits.

David Cunningham, vice president wine business development, Constellation Europe and Australia, was also upbeat on US, UK and Australasian markets. "The wine industry is performing pretty strongly against retail sales growth," he said.