English wine gets 37 new producersBy Lucy Shaw
No less than 37 new English wine producers entered the industry last year to meet growing consumer demand for English sparkling wine.
According to research from national accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, 37 new still and sparkling producers were registered in England last year.
Coinciding with a growing thirst for homemade produce, over the last five years 170 English wine producers have emerged onto the scene.
Around two thirds of England’s wine output is sparkling, with Defra predicting that English wine exports will rise from £3.2m in 2015 to more than £30m by 2020.
“Customers are now opting for English wines over French or Italian products, which twenty years ago would have been seen as a joke,” James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young told the Evening Standard.
“English sparkling wine has now firmly established itself at the same table as those with protected Destination of Origin status like Prosecco or Champagne.
“Many English vineyards are diversifying to offer tastings and tours, have restaurants, rooms for overnight guests and even be a venue for weddings and other events,” he added.
English Wine Week runs until 5 June with retailers, restaurants, pubs, hotels and vineyard owners across the country offering a host of events, tastings and activities designed to promote English wine. Off-trade participation in this year’s the event is up 25% on last year.
“English wines are the talking point of any well-heeled consumer who is happy to pay Champagne prices for premium sparkling wines.
“The best way is to offer English and Welsh sparkling by the glass, which is exactly what we’ll be doing this week,” said Roger Jones, owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.