More investors are adding English wines to their portfolios, boosting the young trade’s prospects.
According to the Financial Times, more people are investing in UK wineries after 2018’s bumper year. Blazing hot sunshine throughout this year’s summer has meant many of our home-grown vineyards have enjoyed record quantities and superb ripeness quality.
Demand domestically is on the rise but more than ever overseas demand is exploding. The UK brand for quality, a weaker pound and a growing pile of accolades are just a handful of reasons why drinkers are opting for English (or Welsh) bubbles. This is all despite many of these wineries having less than 20 years’ experience – tiny versus the centuries-long heritage of Champagne and Cava.
Last year WineGB said there were 6,200 acres of vines producing 5.9m bottles of wine. It’s still small, compared with the rest of the world, but in 1992 the FT reports that the state of Oregon produced a similar 5.2m bottles of wine from 5,950 acres. In 2015, less than 25 years on, Oregon produced over 37m bottles – seven times that of 1992.
Many English wineries and vineyards are privately-owned. There are even a handful owned or part-owned by the big Champagne houses as they look to diversify their portfolio with an English fizz or two. Two Kent-based wineries, Gusbourne and Chapel Down, are publicly-listed companies.
Recently, Cornwall-based Camel Valley became the first English vineyard to receive a Royal Appointment from Queen Elizabeth II.