Environment secretary to host first English wine summit

The UK’s Environment Secretary Liz Truss will host the first English wine summit in the New Year to help build upon the industry’s growing success, the WSTA has confirmed.

Ridgeview-wine-007Truss announced plans for the first English wine summit during a question session on 17 December, during which she was asked what steps her Department were taking to promote wine production in England.

Saying that she wanted to find ways to “encourage the industry to grow”, Truss confirmed she would be holding a round-table in the New Year with representatives of the wine industry to talk about how the government and producers can help the industry to grow.

The WSTA will also take part in the discussion, with the aim of identifying land suitable for viticulture and encourage data collection and data sharing.

Last week Champagne house Taittinger confirmed its plans to plant vineyards in the UK for the first time – a testament to the country’s growing importance within the sparkling wine category.

“We are delighted to be part of this round-table discussion to drive support for the English Wine industry”, said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale. “”It is an industry which has huge potential and is proving to be one of the new faces of modern British agriculture.

“If properly backed by Government it will encourage the growth of highly skilled jobs, increase tourism in the UK, stimulate local economies and we hope to see a boost to the export market of another great British product.”

Earlier this year it was forecasted that English vineyards would double in capacity and production over the next seven years. English Vineyards have been growing on average 11 % a year over the last 10 years. If this trend continues land under vine in England and Wales will double in the next seven years.

There are currently 470 vineyards and 135 wineries producing an average of 3.15million bottles a year in the UK.

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