Cool 2016 sees English wine production dip 20%

Volumes of English wine dipped nearly 20% below the average production in 2016, due to a combination of cool conditions during the summer and a lack of moisture in the later part of the growing season.

The overall volume recorded for 2016 was 31,116 hectolitres (equivalent to around 4.15m bottles), which was nearly 18% below last year’s average production of around 5 million bottles. However marketing body English Wine Producers insisted it was a “high quality vintage”.

The figure was release today ahead of the annual English Wine Producers trade tasting.

Read more

English wines are now world class’ 

Chapel Down launches £100 English fizz 

Taittinger begins planting English vineyard

Severe frosts wipes out crops across England

2016 got off to a slow start, and the cool and wet weather during flowering in June with the conditions continuing throughout July and August, which English Wine Producers said had had an impact on fruit development, bunch growth and véraison. However good weather from mid-August and across the autumn helped boost ripening, producing high quality fruit.  Harvest was a few weeks later than usual but a lack of moisture towards the end of the growing season meant there was generally low bunch weights and smaller berries, affecting overall volumes.

Last year saw an average harvest of around 5.06m bottles (37,977 hectolitres), although this was more than a 1 million bottles fewer than the record-breaking vintage of 2014. That year saw volumes of 6.3 million bottles, an increase of 42% on the 2013 harvest.

However EWP said that the recent run of good, fruit-bearing vintage years meant stock levels of English wine are good. “Established producers are well prepared to cope with the increasing demand for English wine at home and abroad. With grapes from many young vineyards yet to come on stream, volumes will rise in the future,” it said.

Frost damage

The 2017 harvest is widely anticipated to be more challenging, after vines were hit by late frosts in many areas. Although the impact is still being assessed, it is thought that this may be particularly damaging after vines had got off to a good start due to the unseasonably mild winter and early spring, making them more susceptible to damage.

“Frost damage has been on the new growth from the primary buds. Vines carry secondary buds, which can develop to produce some fruit, albeit less in quantity.  It is far too soon to assess the effect that this frost will have had until much further in to the growing season, after flowering,” EWP said.

Simon Robinson, Chairman of English Wine Producers and owner of Hattingley Valley Wines in Hampshire said this had been “very disappointing” given the good start to this year’s growing season, but said that it was inevitable that there would be a mixtures of more and less productive years. “Our producers are accustomed to levels of variation and continue to set their sights on the future – challenging conditions such as these do not invalidate the basic business model either here or anywhere else in Europe.”

Acreage under vine in the UK has more than doubled in the last decade, and nearly tripled since 2000, with the latest hectarage officially for 2016 now standing at 2,077ha. This is set to rise to 2,330 ha by 2017, after around 1 million vines are planted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Administrator

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, IU

Sales Support Executive

Davy's
London, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - Greater London

Maverick Drinks
London/M25 belt, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - West & Wales

Maverick Drinks
Bristol, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - South East

Maverick Drinks
Brighton, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sale & Operations Manager

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more