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Wine GB data highlights UK as one of the world’s fastest-growing regions

Published:  28 May, 2019

Wine of Great Britain (Wine GB) has confirmed around three million vines have been planted so far this year - equating to an additional 690 hectares of vineyards and a 24% increase in the overall land now under vine.

Released to coincide with English and Welsh Wine Week, which takes place this week, the latest planting figures prove that the UK is one of the fastest expanding wine regions in the world, said the industry body.

The amount of plantings, the biggest planting of vines on record for the UK to date, is nearly double that planted last year (1.6 million) and three times the one million vines planted in 2017, making the wine industry one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.

The three million planting figure represented “another milestone in the growth of our fantastic industry”, said Wine GB chairman Simon Robinson.

“Last year we set out our vision that in the next 20 years, at the rate of current growth, we could be producing some 40 million bottles per year. We’re certainly heading towards that. This is a thriving British industry.”

While much of the planting has taken place in counties of South East of England (Kent, Sussex and Hampshire) the spread of vines includes Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Devon, Somerset, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Wales – showing the ongoing expansion of wine production right across the UK.

Food minister David Rutley said: “Our wine makers are innovative, creative and determined, so it’s no surprise that we are seeing the fruits of their labour now shining on the world stage.

“I will continue to champion our innovative food and drink businesses, and I look forward to seeing more of our stand-out wines in restaurants and on shelves the world over.”

The growth figures come off the back of the UK’s most successful vintage last year, following the superb summer and harvest of 2018 which yielded some 15.6 million bottles, smashing the production figure which up until then averaged at around 5.5 million bottles.