Record-breaking one million vines to be planted in the UK this year
The UK’s flourishing wine industry looks set for another boost with a record-breaking one million vines poised to be planted this year.
The new vines, which will fill an estimated 625 acres – the equivalent of planting up the whole of London’s Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined, would yield an additional two million bottles of mainly sparkling wine, adding an estimated £50m to the industry, according to the English Wine Producers (EWP).
The acreage planted with grapevines has grown by 35% in the past 10 years, with the area under vine having nearly tripled since 2000, making wine production one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the UK (EWP).
The growth in plantings underlined the popularity of both English sparkling and still wines, said Viticultural consultant, Stephen Skelton MW, adding producers had seen demand soar, both at home and abroad, and were ”planting for the future”.
In recognition of the increasing importance and popularity of UK wine, the United Kingdom Vineyard Association (UKVA) today launched a competition to “celebrate the achievements of England and Wales’ wine producers”, and to crown the UK’s “very best wine”.
The UK Wine Awards will be led by a line up of wine experts including Susie Barrie MW, wine luminary Oz Clarke and sommelier and wine writer Hamish Anderson, who will join forces with the UK wine industry itself, as well as Hotel du Vin, Country Life magazine and Waitrose.
Wine from small and large producers across the UK will be pitched against each other and judged blind over two days, with the results announced on Wednesday 31May as part of English Wine Week.