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UK vineyards surpass 1,000 as wine sales rise 10%

Published:  04 July, 2024

WineGB has announced significant growth in the UK’s wine industry, with the number of vineyards reaching 1,030, a 9.2% increase from the previous year. According to the Food Standards Agency Wine Team, English and Welsh wine sales also grew by 10% from 2022.

In 2023, 87 new vineyards were registered, surpassing the 1,000-vineyard mark for the first time. The number of wineries has risen from 209 to 221, and the total area under vine now stands at 4,209 ha, representing a growth rate of 123% over the past decade. Production figures confirmed by the Food Standards Agency indicate that 2023 was a record year, with 161,960 hl produced, equivalent to 21.6 million bottles – up 77% from 2022. Despite this growth, the UK's climate means that production variability will continue, with the five-year average production increasing from 10.7 million to 12.4 million bottles.

Sales of English and Welsh wine have shown steady growth, reaching 8.8 million bottles in 2023. Since 2018, sales of sparkling wine have increased by 187%, from 2.2 million to 6.2 million bottles, while sales of still wine have risen by 117%, from 1.2 million to 2.6 million bottles. This growth is notable given the wider trend of declining wine consumption in the UK and globally.

Meanwhile, the large production volume achieved last year is expected to help wine producers build up their stocks of reserve wine for use in non-vintage and multi-vintage sparkling wines, as well as in the small but growing category of NV/MV still wines. These reserve wines enable the creation of consistent products year-on-year and allow for greater complexity and blending options. As the industry builds these stocks, it will also open up new markets and sales channels, enabling wineries to meet higher volume demands from accounts and distributors.

Last year, UK on-trade sales grew to 28% of total volume, up from 22% in 2022, while exports rose to 8%. Cellar door sales (17%), producer online sales (11%), and UK off-trade national accounts (30%) remained static, with a slight reduction in UK off-trade independent retail (6%). WineGB data found that wineries producing over 32,000 bottles annually were less reliant on direct-to-consumer sales and had a larger share of trade sales, particularly in the on-trade. Smaller producers, selling fewer than 32,000 bottles, tended to sell more wine directly to consumers and through independent retail, with limited sales through national trade accounts.

The diversification of vine plantings reflects the sustainable growth of the GB wine sector. Government data showed 51 different grape varieties were planted last year, bringing the total in the UK to over 90. While Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier continue to dominate, their planting share has slightly decreased from 71% in 2021 to 68% in 2023. The top five varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Bacchus  and Seyval Blanc – still form the majority of new plantings. Hybrid varieties now constitute 8% of total plantings, with top hybrids including Seyval Blanc, Solaris, Rondo and Regent.

WineGB data also reveals that 76% of wine produced in 2023 will be made into sparkling wine, 23% into still wine, and 1% into other products such as vermouth. For still wines, a higher proportion will be white wines (66%), with red wines (13%) and rosé (20%) remaining relatively unchanged from 2022.

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB, said: “This is our year of growth and surpassing the 1,000-vineyard mark is a real milestone for our industry, cementing our position as the UK's fastest growing agricultural sector. We are growing sustainably with a 10% rise in sales, remarkable given the wider decline in UK wine consumption. As consumers become more confident in the economy, they will likely have more disposable income to discover our wines in pubs, bars and restaurants. We expect a wider reboot that will support our future wines reaching new markets and new drinkers. GB wine is a success story that has shown extraordinary growth and development in the last decade as a result of significant investment. Vineyard and winery growth is projected to continue at pace.”

UK plantings by variety:

Grape variety


% of planting




Pinot Noir



Pinot Meunier






Seyval Blanc






Pinot Noir Précoce



Pinot Gris