France scored record-breaking sales of wines and spirits in 2015, due mainly to robust exports of champagne and cognac, with €11.7 billion ($13.15 billion) flowing in.
“This good result should not distract from the constant erosion of our export market share,” said Christophe Navarre, president of the French Federation of Wines and Spirits Exporters.
Two-thirds of the 8.7 percent increase over 2014 was due to champagne, whose exports bubbled up 12 percent to €2.7 billion ($3.0 billion), and cognac, which increased by 20 percent.
A favourable exchange rate also helped perk up export sales, as the euro weakened by 16 percent against the dollar over the year.
Exports increased by 28 percent to the United States, which became the top export destination in terms of value at €1.3 billion. Export sales to China were up 23 percent after two difficult years caused by a frugality drive that made officials wary of popping too many champagne corks or opening high-end bottles of wine.