Wine sales in Germany rose in the first half of this year, according to local press reports. Specialised magazine Handelsblatt said today (29 September) that sales of 0.75-litre bottles in the country increased in the first six months of 2004 to 367m bottles.

The magazine cited a survey by marketing research firm AC Nielsen in its report.

While red wines accounted for 61% of overall wine sales in the period, the magazine said, domestic wines accounted for just 35.5% of total sales. French red wines top the league table in the German market, followed by domestic wines with Italian reds in third place, the magazine noted.

Between January and June this year, the average price for a bottle of red or white wine fell by €0.21 compared to the same period last year. The average price for a bottle of domestic red wine also dipped, down to €3.02 from €3.16 in the same period in 2003.