Climate change a ‘big bonus’ for English wine

Global warming and other symptoms of climate change are good for winemaking in England, one of the country’s leading wine educators has said.

Chris Foss, head of the Wine Department at Plumpton College (Photo: Plumpton College)

Chris Foss, head of the Wine Department at Plumpton College (Photo: Plumpton College)

Chris Foss, head of the Wine Department at Plumpton College in East Sussex – renowned as being the first to offer wine courses in the UK – said “climate change is benefitting us a lot.”

“Generally speaking for the English wine industry climate change has been a big big bonus, it really helps us develop,” he said in an interview with news service AFP

Increased temperatures help reduce the risk of frost killing the grape vines in winter, and also lessens the chance of disease as rainfall and moisture levels are lower in the summer.

AFP also quotes Collette O’Leary of Bluebell vineyard in Sussex agreeing, saying: “As temperatures continue to increase there will be greater opportunities for better quality still wines, including red varieties.”

The latest figures show that 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 3.15 million bottles a year in the UK. In 2013 there were only 1,884 hectares under vine.

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