Bubbles and bottles: UK wine industry booms

Bubbles and bottles: UK wine industry booms.

Bubbles and bottles: UK wine industry booms. Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com.

In 2023, English and Welsh wine producers set a new record by selling 8.8 million bottles, a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

To meet the rising demand, the industry is growing quickly, with 87 new vineyards registered last year.

According to the Food Standards Agency’s wine team, the UK now has a total of 1,030 vineyards.

Significant Milestone

“Reaching over 1,000 vineyards is a significant milestone for our industry,” said Nicola, CEO of WineGB.

“We are expanding sustainably, and achieving a 10 per cent sales increase is impressive, especially given the overall decline in UK wine consumption. As consumer confidence in the economy grows, more people will discover our wines in pubs, bars, and restaurants.”

The UK now has 4,209 hectares of vineyards, a 123 per cent increase over the past decade.

The number of UK wineries has also grown to 221.

77% Increase

In 2023, production reached 161,960.84 hectoliters, equivalent to 21.6 million bottles, a 77 per cent increase compared to 2022.

WineGB data shows that 76 per cent of the wine produced in 2023 will be sparkling, 23 per cent will be still wine, and 1 per cent will be used for vermouth and other beverages.

Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape variety, comprising 32 per cent of the total vineyard area, followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Bacchus accounts for 8 per cent of plantings in the UK, while Seyval Blanc and Solaris each represent three per cent.

Other hybrid varieties include Rondo and Regent.

Sparking Wine

Sales of sparkling wine have surged by 187 per cent since 2018, rising from 2.2 million bottles to 6.2 million in 2023.

Meanwhile, sales of still wine have increased by 117 per cent to 2.6 million bottles over the same five-year period.

“GB wine has shown remarkable growth and development over the past decade due to substantial investment,” said Bates. “The expansion of vineyards and wineries is expected to continue rapidly.”

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.

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