Record 15.6m bottles of wine produced in England and Wales last year

Trade organisation WineGB has revealed that a record 15.6 million bottles were produced in England and Wales in 2018, up from 5.9 million produced in the frost-ravaged 2017 vintage.

At a dinner in London this week, organised by Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) and hosted by the Worshipful Company of Vintners, the true extent of the harvest was revealed.

A total of 15.6 million bottles were produced last year, beating the previous record (6.3 million bottles in 2014) by 9.3 million bottles.

Exports of GB wine have also doubled in the past year and English and Welsh wines are now exported to 40 different countries, up from 27 in 2016. The top markets are Scandinavia and the US.

The area under vine in Great Britain has increased by 160% in the past 10 years to reach 7,000 acres (2,888ha). In 2018, 1.6 million vines were planted with a further 2 million expected in 2019.

While the figures have not yet been analysed for the 2018 vintage, in general sparkling wine remains the dominant style, accounting for 71% of the wine produced in the UK. 2018 may see more still wine produced, with wineries reporting that due to conditions, they were able to produce more still Pinot Noir.

Speaking to the drinks business last year, Lucy Letley, head of marketing and events at organic Surrey-based vineyard Albury, said: “At the moment everything is looking good, the Pinots in particular. We’re thinking that this year we will be able to produce a small quantity of still red wine, perhaps a barrel full.”

Hampshire’s Jenkyn Place recently planted an additional 2 acres of Pinot Noir vines, while managing director of Bolney Wine Estate, Sam Linter, told db that the grape has untapped potential.

The Duchess of Cornwall is president of Wines of Great Britain. Image: Ian Jones

“I’ve been banging on about it for the last ten years, but you can get very good English Pinot Noir ” she said. “It has so much potential and there are some really good sites for Pinot Noir in the UK, I think England’s still red wine should be Pinot Noir.”

Pinot Noir is now the UK’s most widely planted grape accounting for 31.5% of vines. The majority is used for sparkling wine production, while the amount used for still wines varies according to the quality of the vintage. There are currently no figures available for the breakdown of Pinot Noir used for still and sparkling.

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.

The dinner was attended by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, who is president of WineGB and a liveryman of the Vintners’ Company, as well as representatives of English and Welsh national and local government, wine suppliers, industry figures and winemakers.

Referring to the boom in UK wine tourism WineGB chairman, Simon Robinson, commented: “Our industry is going through seismic change. This is an immensely important component in the financial viability of many vineyard regions around the world. The benefits here spread beyond the vineyards to the pubs, restaurants, hotels and retailers within those areas – thus boosting the rural economy.”

Continuing, he added: “Exports will be especially valuable in the future. Expertise, capital investment, access to global markets through existing distribution chains, marketing capabilities, technical excellence will all help to raise the profile of our industry throughout the world.”

“I do not think it would be unreasonable to say that 2018 will probably go down as the year when the industry came of age for our colleagues in the wine trade both here in the UK and overseas.”

Further industry data is expected to released in the spring of 2019.

Read more:

DENBIES TO DEVELOP UK’S FIRST VINEYARD HOTEL AND QUADRUPLE PRODUCTION

RECORD YEAR: ENGLISH AND WELSH WINE PRODUCERS COMMENT ON 2018 VINTAGE

BEST VINTAGE EVER FORECAST FOR ENGLISH WINE

SIMPSONS WINE EXPECTS RECORD HARVEST AS VOLUMES INCREASE ALMOST SEVENFOLD

EXCESSIVE DUTY ‘RESTRICTING GROWTH’ OF ENGLISH WINE INDUSTRY

LORD ASHCROFT INVESTS FURTHER £2.7M IN ENGLISH WINE

CHAPEL DOWN TO HIT MILLION BOTTLE MARK

Leave a Reply

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

Subscribe to our newsletters

Events Executive

67 Pall Mall
Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ES, UK

Fine Wine Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Account Manager - London Trade Sales

Bancroft Wines Ltd
London, UK

Brand Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London UK

Marketing Assistant

Speciality Brands
Park Royal, London, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives
Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

Millésime Bio 2020

Montpellier,France
27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more