Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Number of countries drinking English wine increased by a third in 2016

Published:  03 January, 2017

Sales of English Wine reached new heights in 2016, according to DEFRA.

Sales of English wine reached new heights in 2016, according to DEFRA.

Cases of home grown fizz, which account for nearly 70% of the UK's total wine production, were shipped to a record 27 countries last year, with exports reaching the old world (France and Italy) as well as the new (Japan and Taiwan).

The department for environment, food and rural affairs highlighted the success of English fizz in UK supermarkets during 2016, with Marks & Spencer doubling its sales and a 50% increase of sparkling wine at Waitrose.

"Thanks to sparkling rosé from Kent and Chardonnay from Sussex, we are rightly taking our place among the world's most renowned wine producers," environment secretary Andrea Leadsom said.

"The number of countries enjoying our wine has increased by a third this year, and with major producers on track to deliver a 10-fold increase in exports, we could soon be tapping into more countries.

"Our vintners are set for huge success in 2017 with wineries growing and more bottles on supermarket shelves."

2016 was a major year for English wine.

In March, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) led the first ever English wine roundtable of major producers, where they committed to increasing exports targets tenfold to 2.5 million bottles by 2020.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, has invited the Leadsom to attend a bilateral meeting between English wine producers and WSTA members, "to discuss what more can be done to boost this great British success and help it to meet its full potential".

Thanks to chalky soils, south-facing slopes and warm temperatures similar to that of Champagne, the UK industry's have swollen to around £100 million a year.

Land under vine has doubled over the last ten years, with 30 vineyards opening in the last two years alone.

Chairman of English Wine Producers, Simon Robinson said that 2017 us "boom-time" for English wine.

"The growing trend on the high street shows the retailers have really got behind them and the wine consumers of Britain are responding," he said.

"Our export sales are also on the up, with new markets opening up around the world. We're looking forward to even more wines coming on to the market next year."

Sparkling success - 2105/16 in numbers:

More than five million bottles of wine were produced in the UK in 2015.

There are more than 500 commercial vineyards in the UK, comprising 133 wineries spread over approximately 5,000 acres of land.

The UK has opened the door to lucrative markets around the world including the US - with the first two full containers of English wine shipped to New York earlier this year.

English wine is now exported to 27 countries - up from 19 in 2015.

Producers have secured contracts with some of the world's most exclusive restaurants and hotels such as The Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Ritz in London.

Champagne heavyweights are bringing their business to the UK. Champagne Taittinger bought 69 hectares of Kent farmland to produce fizz in the UK.