English wine trade breaks records with £132m turnover
Today the English wine industry is living the high life as it smashed records growing its turnover by 16% versus last year to a whopping £132m. According to the drinks business and data from Funding Options, the turnover of English wine has trebled over the past five years from £55.7m in 2011 to £132m.
Part of English wine's success has been in the sheer quality of the sparkling wines, which can today compete with the likes of Champagne's best houses. As more vintage stock is held in reserve, English winemakers are starting to develop their own brands of non-vintage sparkling wines to join the impressive array of single vintage, fruit-led sparklers.
Meanwhile, the English wine industry's still wine is getting more exciting every day. Bacchus has been firmly adopted as England's white wine superstar, winning award after award on the international stage as a varietal style. Pinot Noir has also come into its own for the English rose market, particularly here in the west country where clay soils preserve a lot of the fruit character in the wines.
However the struggle for English wine producers today is keeping up the quantity for increasing demand - without compromising the quality. Export interest from Asia, the United States and increasingly in Europe and Australasia is competing with the ever-growing domestic demand from consumers and the trade here in the UK.
Furthermore, tough vintages like 2017 when early frost wiped out significant proportions of everyone's yields has made keeping up with demand much tougher. It is also likely that we'll see a price hike for the '17 vintage when it is released next year for the still wines and perhaps even later, as far as 2020, for the sparkling wines.
Nevertheless, English wine has well and truly proven itself as a major player in the wine world for its prestigious, fruity still and sparkling wines. We're even beginning to create some stunning red wine, such as the Sixteen Ridges Early Pinot Noir. So for a happy wine-loving consumer, there's never been a better time to shop English.