Wine exports from France's Rhône Valley last year have built on 2011's record high, according to recently-released figures.

Trade body Inter-Rhône said earlier this week that exports in 2012 were up by 5.5% in volumes and by 10% in value terms. Shipment volumes, which exceeded 900,000 hectolitres, represented 31% of the region's volume sales. The remaining 69% was sold domestically.

The UK was the leading destination in terms of volume, reporting a 1.6% rise year-on-year, to 184,682 hectolitres. The trade body hailed the UK numbers as “a good recovery”, thanks mainly to Côtes du Rhône Villages, in what remains a difficult market because of increases in duties. The US was the second largest export market.

However, the two swapped places when it came to value performance. The US claimed top spot, generating sales of almost EUR78.2m (US$100.4m) with demand strong for Côtes du Rhône, Ventoux, and Costières de Nîmes crus and white Luberon AOC. Second place went to the UK.

Last year, the region posted record exports for 2011.

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