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Sales of English and Welsh wine soared in 2021

Sales of English and Welsh wines increased by 31% to 9.3 million bottles in 2021, according to new figures from WineGB.

That represents a 69% increase on the 5.5 million bottles sold in 2019, highlighting the exponential growth the industry has enjoyed in recent years.

Brits account for 96% of the sales, but demand is increasing in export markets too. English and Welsh wines have proved particularly popular in Scandinavia, with exports to Norway rising by 85% year-on-year in 2021.

In the UK, more than half of the sales are direct-to-consumer, either via the cellar door or a winery’s website.

However, sales in supermarkets and specialist retailers are also on the rise. Majestic reported that sales of English sparkling wines are currently up by 58% over the past year.

Elsewhere, Aldi reported 160% year-on-year growth for its English still rosé, proving that there is more to the industry than bubbly.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which took place at the start of June, provided the sector with a boost. Sainsbury’s reported that its English sparkling wine sales soared by 370% as Brits decided to toast the occasion with homegrown fizz.

WineGB chief executive Simon Thorpe MW said: ‘It really is boom time for the English wine sector. Our wines are attracting more and more fans, proven by the fantastic growth in wine sales in the home market.’

There are now 3,758 hectares under vine in England and Wales as of 2021, according to the Wine Standards Branch of Food Standards Agency’s May 2022 report. More vines have been planted this year. Hectarage has more than doubled in the past eight years, and more than quadrupled since 2000.

Last week, winemakers in Sussex celebrated after finally succeeding in a seven-year campaign to earn PDO status for wines produced in the region.

We are now in the thick of English Wine Week, a national campaign designed to promote English wines and vineyards.

It began on Saturday and it will run until Sunday, June 26, so look out for promotions in wine merchants across the UK.

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