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Sales of English and Welsh wine double in 2018

Published:  06 March, 2019

The English and Welsh wine industry produced a record-breaking amount of wine last year thanks to a frost-free spring and a long, mostly dry summer.

But 2018 also saw the number of sales skyrocket at home and abroad.

According to WineGB, exports doubled in 2018, with the USA and Scandinavia together receiving 65% of all English and Welsh wine leaving our shores.

Exports are only expected to grow.

WineGB predicts they could account for 30-40% of the total wine produced in Great Britain by 2040, worth a potential £350m a year.

Production meanwhile officially reached 15.6 million bottles.

This is a 130% improvement on 2017’s crop and far exceeds the previous record of 6.3m bottles in 2014.

Simon Robinson, chairman of WineGB, which produced the data with Wine Intelligence, called 2018 “a milestone year for the industry”.

He said: “As a sector we are bringing many developments in agriculture, tourism, education, investment and employment. This is now a thriving and confident British industry in which we can be justifiably proud.”

Acreage grew 13% last year, the equivalent of 1.6 million vines or 405 hectares.

A further two million vines are set to be planted this year.

The research, which aimed to put the rapidly growing English and Welsh wine industry into context, said investment from Champagne house Taittinger in Kent and Pommery in Hampshire, remains a “firm endorsement for the future of the industry”.

Plantings also increasingly reflect the synergies between the two regions.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus now account for 76% of all plantings, and 69% of all English and Welsh wine is sparkling.