The UK was confirmed today as the number one export market for Champagne for the ninth year running, with an all-time high shipment of 34.95m bottles in 2004. The UK remains leagues ahead of both the second and third export markets, the US (20.2m bottles) and Germany (11.5m bottles).

Since the Millennium, total Champagne shipments to the UK have increased by around 40% with value increasing by 62%.

The UK is also sipping more Rosé Champagne than ever before with shipments of non-vintage and vintage demonstrating rosy growth of +19% compared to 2003.

"British are not only drinking more bottles of Champagne, they are also trading up in style," said Françoise Peretti, director of the Champagne Information Bureau in the UK. "It appears that experimentation with different styles is fashionable, including Vintage Champagne, a blend of wines from one specific year. Hence the UK market has increased in value as well as volume."