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 almost £100million by the end of 2015, with particularly high volumes at Christmas.

The most popular grapes varieties grown in English vineyards are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bacchus, as well as others including 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 – although a study revealed that UK climate change will ‘threaten productivity’ in English winemaking.

In December 2015, Champagne Taittinger announced it was buying a vineyard in Kent and would produce an English sparkling wine.

English sparkling wine specifically has been highly praised for its quality, beating Champagne in some competitions, and collecting a total of 130 medals and trophies in the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards. However, compared to Champagne, English sparkling is ‘undervalued’, according to an industry expert.

Quick links: English & Welsh wines to try this summer | Test your knowledge with our English wine quiz  | Top English sparkling wines to try | Wine travel in the UK

See below for the latest English wine news and recommendations.