April 18th, 2017
The UK’s wine industry looks set to continue its impressive growth as it reveals that a record-breaking one million vines will be planted in the UK this year.
This represents the largest number of vines ever planted in a single year in the UK.
Most of the vines to be planted are those for sparkling wines, and are principally Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Much of the planting will be in the South East of England as well as East Anglia, and will be planted in May. This year’s vine planting will yield another two million bottles of mainly sparkling wine, adding an estimated £50m to the industry. English wine fans will have to be patient, however, as many of the wines will not be available for at least another 7-8 years.
The million + vines will in total cover an estimated 625 acres – the equivalent of planting up the whole of London’s Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.
This planting marks another pivotal time for the UK wine industry; in the last ten years the acreage planted with grapevines has grown by an impressive 135%, and since the year 2000, acreage has nearly tripled. This means wine production is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the UK.
The announcement of this growth comes at a celebratory time for the industry, as a new competition from the UK wine industry was also announced today – the UK Wine Awards – boasting a glittering line up of celebrity wine judges including including Susie Barrie MW (leading wine writer and one of the wine experts on BBC Saturday Kitchen), wine luminary Oz Clarke and leading sommelier and wine writer Hamish Anderson. and an impressive line up of sponsors in Country Life, Hotel du Vin and Waitrose. You can read more about the newly-launched awards here.
Viticultural consultant Stephen Skelton MW, commenting on the growth in plantings, said: "2017 will see the largest number of vines ever planted in a single year in the UK, and underlines the popularity of both English sparkling and still wines with the wine-buying public. Producers have seen demand soar, both at home and abroad, and are planting for the future.”