Rhône Valley wines exports reached record levels in 2011, according to figures from trade body InterRhône.

Sales in the year totalled EUR361.5m (US$461m), the organisation said late last week, representing a 19% increase on 2010. Volumes reached 115m bottles, up 5%.

"While Asia remains a very dynamic market for wine imports in general, North America is generating demand for the Rhône Valley variety in particular," said Inter Rhône's president, Christian Paly.

The UK remained the biggest export market in volume, despte a 3% drop in shipments but the US took first place in value terms rising 21% to over EUR74.2m.