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The 5 biggest export markets for GB wines

Wineries in Great Britain enjoyed a boom in both domestic and overseas sales last year, but a new report suggests that exports will play a crucial role in the fledgling industry’s future.

(Photo: Langham Wine)

Producers from England and Wales sold an estimated 2.6 million bottles of wine throughout 2018, according to the survey, a rise of 186% since 2017. Around 8% of these were overseas exports.

This is a 3% boost on 2017. In fact, the proportion of wine sold within the UK has actually fallen compared to the previous period. Around 53% of bottles were sold through UK trade, down from 55% in 2017, while cellar door sales accounted for just under a third (32%), compared to 36% the previous year.

Acreage, too has risen since 2017 at a rate of 13%. Some 1.6 million vines were planted in 2018, with a further 2 million expected this year, it said. The majority of this is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus, which between them account for 76% of all plantings.

The biggest export markets being USA and Scandinavia, which together receive 65% of total overseas sales, according to WineGB.

The industry body expects that exports may account for 30-40% of the total wine produced in Great Britain by 2040, yielding a potential value of some £350 million per year.

By 2040, Wines of Great Britain also expect wine tourism in the UK to generate an additional revenue of £658m per annum.

“Our figures detail the considerable pace of growth taking place here in the UK and what exciting predictions and opportunities lie in the future,” Simon Robinson, chairman of WineGB, said.

“As a sector we are bringing many developments in agriculture, tourism, education, investment and employment. This is now a thriving and confident British industry in which we can be justifiably proud. Watch this space!”

We’ve listed the biggest export markets for wineries in Great Britain, according to WineGB’s 2019 report.

Keep scrolling to see which regions are the most lucrative for British wineries right now. 

5. Sweden

Export volume share: 10%

According to WineGB’s survey, Scandinavian countries were among the most eager to source wine from England, Wales and Scotland. Based on the trade body’s estimates, around 10% of all exports were sent to Sweden in 2018, accounting for around 20,800 bottles of wine.

4. Denmark

Export volume share: 12%

Denmark, meanwhile, was the 2nd biggest exporter out of the Scandinavian region, accounting for just under 25,000 bottles.

3. “Asia” including China & Japan

Export volume share: 16%

While China and Japan, which import 1% and 3% of Britain’s overseas wine sales respectively, the rest of Asia, the report shows, holds a 12% share of the export market. As a whole, the continent takes in around 31,200 bottles of GB wines.

2. Norway

Export volume share: 18%

Norway was the biggest European importer for British wines, with retailers buying in around 37,000 bottles.

1. USA

California was the biggest importing state when it comes to wines from England, Wales and Scotland.

Export volume share: 22%

The US imports more British wine than any other country by a wide margin, with roughly 46,000 bottles being sent to the states last year, according to WineGB’s export estimates. Within the US, the states where British wine is most popular are California, New York, Texas and Florida.

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