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Volume dip for UK harvest

Published:  08 May, 2017

UK harvest production figures dipped in the past year, but 2016 was a “high quality” vintage year, according to data released today.   

The 2016 production figures from England and Wales revealed 31,116 hectolitres were produced, equivalent to 4.15m bottles - a drop compared to the current average annual production of 5 million bottles, according to new data from the English Wine Producers (EWP).

While 2016 got off to a slow start, it finished with “fantastic” weather and wine makers reported “excellent quality wines” from all varieties, with wet conditions in the run up to and over flowering in June - continuing through July to mid-August - invariably having an impact on fruit development; bunch growth and delayed véraison, said the EWP.

After that, the UK benefitted from a long period of warm and dry weather through to early early autumn and over harvest, which in turn boosted harvest and produced some high quality fruits, it added.

In light of the recent frost, EWP chairman and proprietor of Hattingley Valley Wines, Simon Robonson, said: “Our producers are accustomed to levels of variation and continue to set their sights on the future – challenging conditions such as these do not invalidate the basic business model either here or anywhere else in Europe.”

The harvest figures release coincides with the EWP’ annual tasting today (8 May), where a record number of wines will be displayed, including newcomers such as Oxney Organic Estate - EWP’s latest member.

The pre-launch of an interactive mobile-friendly wine map - aimed at giving a boost to the English wine tourism - is also poised to be introduced at the tasting, featuring route planner, vineyard and event listings alongside listings of places to stay and eat.