The demand for English and Welsh sparkling wine is growing, with vineyards in the UK doubling over the past 10 years to 5,000 acres, including 30 new vineyards in the last two years alone. The industry now boasts sales of around 100 million pounds a year.
UK wine producers have made great leaps in recent years with exports. English and Welsh sparkling wine is now being exported to 27 countries – 8 more countries than in 2015 – and they are aiming to increase exports 10-fold by 2020.
With huge year-on-year increases, 2017 promises to be another positive year for the industry.
As well as many other high-profile contracts with hotels and restaurants, English sparkling wine recently won a victory over Champagne in the sporting world. Chapel Down was announced as the official wine of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, overtaking Champagne Bollinger. This marks a significant change and is great news for the UK wine industry.
It’s possible Champagne houses may buy up more UK soil, with Taittinger being the first to invest back in 2015. www.glassofbubbly.com/taittinger-first-champagne-house-to-invest-in-english-sparkling-wine. This is in part thanks to the chalky UK soil, particularly in the south, being similar to the Champagne region and great for vine-growing. With the changing climate, the UK is becoming much more suitable to grow quality grapes.
Some of the latest markets added in 2016 were China, Taiwan, Austria, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Italy, Ivory Coast, Spain and the UEA. This is on top of the established markets, including Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa, France, Finland, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.