UK AMONG FASTEST-GROWING WINE REGIONS
The UK wine industry is proving to be one of the fastest expanding wine regions in the world after seeing the biggest planting of vines on record this year.
The latest planting figures confirm that around three million vines were planted this year - equating to an additional 690 hectares of vineyards and a 24% increase in the overall land now under vine.
This is nearly double that planted last year (1.6 million vines) and three times the one million vines planted in 2017, making the wine industry one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.
Much of the planting has taken place in the South East of England (Kent, Sussex and Hampshire), although the spread of vines touches Wales, the West Country, East Anglia and the East Midlands, demonstrating showing the ongoing expansion of wine production nationwide.
“This impressive figure of three million vines represents another milestone in the growth of our fantastic industry,” comments Simon Robinson, Chairman of WineGB. “Last year we set out our vision that in the next 20 years, at the rate of current growth, we could be producing some 40 million bottles per year. We’re certainly heading towards that. This is a thriving British industry.”
These growth figures come off the back of the UK’s most successful vintage last year, following the superb summer and harvest of 2018 which yielded some 15.6m bottles, smashing the production figure which up until then averaged at around 5 ½ million bottles.
Most supermarkets now stock home-grown wines and English and Welsh wines now feature on restaurant and retailer lists. Wine tourism is also providing popular, with some 200 vineyards open to the public.