English Wine Production Figures Hit All Time High
13th May 2015
The production figures for the 2014 harvest in the UK reveal a significant growth in volume, breaking all industry production records. 47,433 hectolitres were produced last year – the equivalent of 6.3 million bottles (75cl). This represents an increase of 42% in volume over 2013 – itself a record-breaking figure of 4.45m bottles.
The figures are compiled by the Wine Standards Branch (Food Standards Agency) from records submitted by all producers post-harvest. Whilst there is currently no official detailed breakdown of styles produced, English Wine Producers (EWP) and United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) estimate that at least two-thirds of production is now sparkling wine, pointing to a production level of some 4m bottles of sparkling wine from the 2014 harvest.
Viticultural Consultant Stephen Skelton MW commented: “The last two years have provided excellent growing conditions for our grapes – great flowering weather and a warm summer. The vineyards have produced some very good quality grapes and volumes of still and sparkling wines.”
The UK Vineyard area has doubled in seven years and now stands at in excess of 2000ha (4,900 acres), the majority of which is mostly planted for the production of sparkling wine. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are now the most popular varieties, with plantings of these two alone increasing by over 230% in the last 8 years. Production of sparkling wines has increased by nearly 150% in the last 5 years and more volumes are now coming on to the market, from established producers to new English wine brands.
Marks & Spencer have just added significantly to their range of wines, introducing vineyards from across the UK, and Waitrose continue to increase their share of the English & Welsh wine market – now listing over 100 English and Welsh wines and recently reporting a 177% increase in sales of English wines over the same period a year ago.
Julia Trustram Eve, Marketing Director of EWP said: “Over the last years we seem to be continually breaking our own records, and the 2014 figures surpass everything. There’s no doubt about it – English wines really are on an upward trajectory.
“There’s no doubt about it – England’s future is certainly a bright one: growing acreage, larger volumes to sell to meet demand, international recognition through competition successes securing our reputation for quality. Added to this, next year the UK is hosting the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, and It couldn’t be at a better time – that will certainly put our industry at the centre of the world wine stage,” adds Julia.
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