Last year's warm summer has prompted a bumper crop of 6.3 million 75cl bottles as the march of the English sparkling wines continues
English bubbly is booming and it's now a serious player in premium fizz – so bye-bye Bollinger.
New figures released by the English Wine Producers (EWP), the umbrella body for English vineyards, show that almost double the amount of wine was produced in the UK last year compared to that in 2013. That's a record-breaking 6.3 million 75cl bottles of English wine (which is 47,433 hectolitres, FYI).
While there is no official breakdown of the wine styles produced as of yet, EWP and the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) have estimated that at least two-thirds of production is now sparkling wine.
Why? Last year's stonking good summer helped and producers believe the climate change is allowing Britain to replicate traditional French growing conditions. Stephen Skelton Master of Wine (MW), a wine growing consultant, said: “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 also doubled in the last seven years and now stands at more than 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres), the majority of which are planted for the production of sparkling wine across the UK, including Sussex and Yorkshire.
Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director of the EWP trade body, added: “English wines really are on an upward trajectory. As volumes continue to grow, so will our efforts to develop markets both here and abroad."
Grape Britain, indeed.