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

Number of UK wine producers reaches record high

Published:  31 October, 2017

The number of wine producers in the UK has jumped by 13% to a record high boosted by the demand for boutique drinks and homegrown products.

The number of UK wineries hit 397 in 2016 up from 352 in 2015, according to new research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young

It claims the continued commercial success of market leaders, such as Chapel Down - the Kent-based company which is an official supplier to Downing Street - has encouraged more entrepreneurs to enter the market.

In addition, hotter temperatures in the UK over the last two decades has helped to boost the UK wine production, it said.

The trend across the drinks sector was for niche, “local” products to outperform the growth of global brands, said James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, adding the wine category this had led to more consumers swapping French or New World wine for English wine.”

“It is more of a talking point, more of an event, to order a Welsh wine than French. But it is not just novelty value – critics are giving English and Welsh wine higher and higher ratings, ” he said.

The accountancy firm also said support from the Government had helped the growing trend, citing how

former environment secretary Elizabeth Truss has set a target last year to increase wine exports tenfold by 2020.

Many UK wineries have also been successful due to the ability to diversifying with restaurants, cafes, tastings and wine tours, said Simmonds.

“Some have even branched out into being a venue for weddings and other large events,” he added.

While he admits that English wine does achieve a relatively high price point this means it has a reputation for being a premium product.

“Now-a-days customers not only look for high levels of quality, but also perceived rarity in the products they buy. The novelty of high-quality wine from England could mean buyers are prepared to pay more,” he said.