THE English wine industry is now worth over £130m a year according to a new study by Funding Options. Turnover for independent producers in England rose 16% from 2015 to 2016, hitting a record £132m in 2016.
The improvements aren’t just in terms of quantity of wine sold, but in the quality of the finished product. In May, a wine from Norfolk was named as the best white wine in the world at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Winbirri Vineyards’ Bacchus 2015, beat 17,200 other entries to claim the Platinum Best in Show, and was given a score of 95 out of 100 by a panel of 200 international experts.
Though it is certainly an exciting time for the wine industry, with more than a million vines to be planted in the next year and a record number of wineries set to open in England, domestic wine still makes up less than 2% of the total UK market. Indeed last year the fact that drinkers in the UK drank £14 billion worth of wine, means that the country is the largest per-capita importer of wine in the world.
As with all things, it remains to be seen precisely how Brexit will impact these figures in the long run, especially with so many workers, bottles and tanks essential to the industry coming from the EU. Duties are likely to rise and with a weakened pound making imports more expensive Britons may be forced to drink even more home grown grapes in the future. Furthermore with 15% of all global win imports going to the UK the entire market may suffer a knock-on effect.