English wine sales growth continues at home and abroad

Sales of English sparkling wine have risen to fourth place in the drink's home market, after an 8% rise last year.

Newly planted vineyard in Dorset - Image: Victor Keegan (CC BY 2.0)
Newly planted vineyard in Dorset - Image: Victor Keegan (CC BY 2.0)

This follows an 11% rise in 2015, with sales expected to continue as the area of vineyards increases and more wine comes onto the market, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Italian prosecco remains well out in front, selling around 85 million bottles in the UK last year, followed by Champagne and Spain's Cava. But English wine now outsells both French non-Champagne sparkling wine (predominantly Cremant) and Australian sparkling wine, both of which saw dips in sales.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "Jumping two places to the UK's fourth favourite fizz is another amazing achievement for English wine.

"Production is small compared to more established wine making regions, but the quality of English wine is shining through. We hope that the new government realises the potential of English wine and lowers the UK's excessively high wine duty to encourage growth and investment."

Duty on a bottle of sparkling wine was increased by 10p in the March Budget to £2.77 per 75cl bottle.

Meanwhile exports of English wine rose nearly 14% by volume, and 17% in value, in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Food and Drink Federation, which said the weak pound has boosted food and drink exports across the board.

The WSTA said the area of planted vines is set to grow by a further 50% by 2020, by which time production will double to 10 million bottles per year.


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