Top wines in London restaurants by region


5. California, USA

Moving into the top five, it is California, the largest wine producing region in the US, which takes the fifth spot. Responsible for the production of around 80% of all wine made in the country, wines are grown from Mendocino County in the north right the way down to the South Coast AVA which extends to the border with Mexico.

Top grape varieties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Merlot. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are by far the most planted varieties, both accounting for just under 40% of the state’s grape plantings.

Californian wines account for 4% of those on London’s wine lists, a percentage that is on the rise, according to Wine Picker.

4. Rhône, France

After California, the top four regions are dominated by just one country: France. First up is the Rhône Valley, which is divided into two vine growing regions separated by a gap of around 30 miles.

Home to the vast Côtes du Rhône AOC, the Rhône Valley is also known for wines from the famous appellations of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie (Northern Rhône) and Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas (Southern Rhône). 80% of the wine produced in the Rhône Valley is red, 13% rosé and 7% white.

Wines from the Rhône Valley account for 5% of those on London’s wine lists, a percentage which is also on the rise, according to Wine Picker.

3. Champagne, France

Champagne, located in north east France and home to the traditional method sparklers of the same name, is the third most popular wine on London’s wine lists. This, as Guibert states, is partly due to restaurants listing a large number of rare bottles on their lists.

Champagne accounts for 8% of the wines on London wine lists, however this figure is falling, according to Wine Picker. Champagne shipments to the UK have fallen, although this primarily affects lower-priced, often own-label offerings. The declining figure could be due to restaurants retaining their high value Champagne, but replacing fizz at a lower price with other sparkling wines from around the world.

2. Bordeaux, France

Just behind Burgundy, Bordeaux is the second most popular region on London’s wine lists, representing 10% of all wines. This figure, according to Wine Picker, is rising.

Nearly 90% of the plantings in Bordeaux are black grapes, while the production of AOC wine is 85% red, 10% dry white, 1% sweet white and 4% rosé.

1. Burgundy France

Despite increasingly eye-popping prices for its top wines, Burgundy is the region most represented on London’s wine lists, accounting for 12% of all wines on lists. The wine region (excluding Beaujolais) boasts 84 appellations, including 33 grands crus, 44 village appellations and 7 regional appellations.

High land prices, combined with strong world demand and low volumes, have led to substantial prices increases, with Liv-ex’s Burgundy 150 Index showing that prices have risen by 200% between 2003 and 2016. Total production in Burgundy is around a quarter of that in Bordeaux. However, the percentage of Burgundian wines on London lists is rising, according to Wine Picker, suggesting that restaurants are investing in more top-end wines, and are perhaps also searching for more affordable alternatives from less well-known appellations.

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