Production of English wine is flourishing, with 37 new wine producers and vineyards opening in the last year, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.
In all, the number of newly licensed producers entering the wine industry has remained strong over the last five years, with a total of 170 wine producers starting up over that period, the group added. Growth was being driven by English wine as opposed to British wine, which is made using imported grapes and is regarded as being of inferior quality.
Though sales are currently restricted to the UK market, exports are expected to rise over the next four years with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) predicting that UK wine exports will increase from £3.2 million in 2015 to over £30 million in 2020 – an increase of more than 800%.
The predictions represent a marked change in the fortunes of English wine, which has traditionally struggled with its poor reputation and languished in the shadows of more renowned wine-producing countries such as France, South Africa and Australia.
James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “In recent years the wine industry has gone from strength to strength, and customers are now opting for English wines over French or Italian products, [a decision] which twenty years ago would have been seen as a joke.”
“Products like English sparkling wine have now firmly established themselves at the same table as those products with PDO status such as prosecco or champagne.
“Many English vineyards do a lot more than produce wine, which can make them very profitable businesses. They are diversifying to offer tastings and tours, have restaurants, rooms for overnight guests and even be a venue for weddings and other events.
“The increasing success of English wine as well as the other business and hospitality opportunities that come with running a vineyard can be an attractive prospect for the wine enthusiast.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial