HMRC announces tax break for vineyard and cider orchard owners

HMRC has updated its guidelines to now allow owners of vineyards and cider apple orchards in the UK to pass on land without inheritance tax.

As reported by The Times, HMRC has updated its definition of what constitutes agricultural use of land in relation to inheritance tax. The definition now includes the production of fruit used to make wine and cider, meaning that vineyards and orchards now qualify for agricultural property relief.

As a result, the value of the land will be up to 100% tax-free when left as part of an estate, according to the paper. 

This follows news revealing that the area under vine in Great Britain has increased by 160% in the past 10 years to reach 7,000 acres (2,888ha), according to trade organisation WineGB.

In recent years there has been an ambitious vine planting programme in England and Wales with 1.6 million vines were planted last year, with a further 2 million expected in 2019.

WineGB states that it, in line with current trends, it projects that volumes will increase to some 40m bottles per annum by 2040. By the same year, it expects wine tourism to generate an additional revenue of £658 million a year, with an increase in employment in the sector from 2,000 to 24,000.

With this increase in production and cultivation, there is a concern as to how the wine will get produced.

Speaking to the Times, Simon Robinson, owner of Hampshire’s Hattingley Valley winery and chairman of WineGB, revealed that he’d seen good vine land trading for up to £20,000 an acre, meaning that it can achieve 50-75% more than other types of agricultural land.

“The issue is where are all those grapes going to go,” he added.

Speaking to the drinks business last year, co-owner of Simpsons Wine Estate, Ruth Simpson, also highlighted the same issue. With no connection to Kent, Ruth and her husband Charles saw land advertised specifically for its vine growing potential in the county.

Indeed their agents, Strutt & Parker, were the first in the UK to market a substantial parcel of land purely on its grape growing ability. Having been assessed by viticultural consultant Stephen Skelton MW at the time, Strutt & Parker offered four parcels of 35 acres, 22 acres,  52 acres and 7.5 acres, the first three lots for sale at £10,000 per acre, and the fourth for £20,000 per acre.

With more vineyards being planted however, Simpson highlighted the lack of winemaking facilities.

“The problem with England is that there’s a lot of vineyards but relatively few wineries,” she said, adding that at least three people had been in touch to ask if Simpson could do contract winemaking in 2018.

“The big issue this year [2018] is where the grapes are going to go. Even a 10 to 20% increase would be an issue, but this year it’s well over 100%,” she said.

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.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Supply Chain Assistant

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

Supply Chain Co-ordinator

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
West Midlands & Northants

Logistics Team Leader

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Key Account Executive

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

Assistant Operations Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Technical Manager

North South Wines
West Drayton, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives


Eurowines Limited
Harrogate, UK

Business Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Exclusive Masterclass: Chablis on Tour

London,United Kingdom
29th Apr 2019

Vinexpo Bordeaux

13th May 2019

London Wine Fair 2019

London,United Kingdom
20th May 2019
Click to view more

The Global Grenache Masters 2019

Deadline : 26th April 2019

The Tuscan Masters 2019

Deadline : 26th April 2019

Click to view more

The Global Riesling Masters 2018

View Results

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

Click to view more