In October, Grower reported that many grape growers were predicting a good harvest thanks to a combination of little frost at the start of the year, warm, dry weather in June and July and September's Indian summer.
English Wine Producers (EWP) has welcomed in the New Year by confirming that 2009 was indeed a vintage year.
EWP marketing manager Julia Trustram Eve said: "With a number of new vineyards also now coming into full production, volumes are looking to be considerably higher than the past two years and likely to match [maybe even exceed] the record 2006 figures of over 3 million bottles."
She added: "Across the country the fruit quality was exceptional, with many of the highest sugars ever recorded along with good acids.
"Excellent fruit flavours in many of the aromatic varieties were reported, along with the traditional varieties — Chardonnay and the Pinots — which displayed potential alcohols of 11-13%. There will be many more unchaptalised wines produced this year than has been seen for some time."
EWP has confirmed that yields were variable in different regions, but the largest growth area, the South East, saw a bumper crop. East Anglia experienced a very dry growing season. Some parts of the South West suffered from late frost and a damp late June/July but bolstered by the long warm autumn, which resulted in good, average yields.
Sparkling wine maker Michael Roberts of Ridgeview Estate in Sussex said: "All in all, a fantastic year — a pretty wonderful build up for the London Olympics."
Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.