Five of the top six export markets for cava, the sparkling wine produced in Spain’s region of Catalonia, saw increases in the 2013 calendar year. While the Catalan product is facing stiff competition from Prosecco, its Italian counterpart, the sparkler continues to be popular in the United States and the European Union.
According to the Cava Regulatory Committee (CRC), the United States imported 17.8 million bottles of cava in 2013, a 3.6 percent increase from 2012. The number marks the highest point of cava imports in the history of the United States, edging out the country’s 2010 imports.
Japan was cava’s second biggest non-European Union market, importing just under 8 million bottles. Like the United States, Japan’s 2013 numbers were the highest in the country’s history.
Switzerland followed Japan, importing about 3 million bottles. Unlike the US and Japan, Switzerland’s cava imports dipped from a high of nearly 4 million bottles of in 2009.
Within the European Union, cava saw continued success save for a marked decrease in exports to the United Kingdom. Germany imported 40.2 million bottles, a slight uptick from its 2012 total of 39.4 bottles. Belgium, a prolific importer of cava based on the country’s population as compared to Germany and the United Kingdom, saw a rise in bottle imports. Numbers went up from 25.2 million bottles in 2012 to 27.6 bottles in 2013, a shift of nearly 10 percent.
The import numbers drop drastically after the EU’s big three of Germany, the UK and Belgium. France imported 5.4 million bottles in 2013, a 5.4 percent increase from the country’s total of 4.9 million bottles in 2012.
Cava saw a more than 20 percent drop in exports to the United Kingdom in 2013, but the country still remains the second-biggest importer of cava in the world.
Catalonia’s cava tasting committee noted the 2013 harvest promises big flavor, welcomed news for ever-popular cava estates like Freixenet and Jaume Serra.
The CRC’s tasting committee gave the harvest high marks in its report of last year’s harvest.
“The report highlights the excellent balance between alcohol content and acidity, underlining the extraordinary values of … acidity that will allow wine-makers to produce long aging Gran Reserva Cavas that are really appreciated by lovers of great wines,” the CRC said in a press release. “The Tasting Committee described the base wine of the 2013’s harvest as ‘excellent’ taking its place in the only seven harvests with this rating in the last 40 years.”
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