UK is ‘one of the world’s fastest-growing wine regions’

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wine powerhouse: the UK has been highlighted as one of the world's fastest-growing wine regions
Wine powerhouse: the UK has been highlighted as one of the world's fastest-growing wine regions
To celebrate English and Welsh Wine Week, industry body WineGB has announced that 3m vines are due to be planted this year – resulting in a 24% rise in land under vine in Britain in just one year.

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 (1.6m) and three times the 1m vines planted in 2017, making the wine industry one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.

The 3m planting figure represented “another milestone in the growth of our fantastic industry”, said WineGB 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 40m bottles per year," continued Robinson.

“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 echoed Robinson's enthusiasm. He added: “Our winemakers 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 15.6m bottles – smashing the production figure that, up until then, averaged around 5.5m bottles.

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