English wine is growing in popularity and is increasingly recognised as a premium wine producing region, with approximately 1,800ha of land under vine, more than 450 vineyards and around 3.15m bottles produced a year. Sales of English wine reached approximately £78million in 2014, and may reach £100million by the end of 2015.
The most popular grapes varieties grown in English vineyards are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bacchus, as well as others including Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Ortega. Whilst vineyards are found across the whole of England, the climate of the South East makes it a particularly popular region for growing vines, especially Sussex and Kent.
English sparkling wine specifically has been highly praised for its quality, beating Champagne in some competitions, and collecting a total of 74 medals and trophies in the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Some of the best-known English wineries include: Ridgeview Estate, Denbies, Chapel Down, Hush Heath, Camel Valley and Nyetimber – but there are many more.
See below for the latest English wine news and recommendations.