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Thirsty Russians push Italy wine exports to record level

© AFP | To Russia with love: Italian wine exports had a record year thanks to thirsty Russians

ROME (AFP) - 

Exports of Italian wine reached a record six billion euros ($7.2 billion) in 2017, up 7.0 percent on the previous year thanks largely to Russia, Italy's largest agricultural union said Wednesday.

Sales of everything from the full-bodied to the fruity were glugged with glee in established markets, with sales up eight percent in Britain, six percent in the United States and three percent in Germany.

Sales in China increased by 25 percent, though they were still relatively limited compared to the import of French wines.

But Russia proved the most partial to an Italian glass or two, with sales there leaping 47 percent on a 12-month comparison.

And much of the fizz came from sparkling wines, such as prosecco, with sales of bubblies up 15 percent to nearly 1.1 billion euros, the union said.

© 2018 AFP