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The UK now boasts more than 1,000 vineyards

The number of UK vineyards has exceeded 1,000 for the first time following a 9.2% increase over the past year.

English and Welsh wine producers sold a record 8.8 million bottles in 2023, which represents a 10% increase compared to the previous year.

Production is expanding at a rapid pace in a bid to keep up with soaring demand, and 87 new vineyards were registered over the past year.

That takes the total UK vineyard tally to 1,030, according to new figures from the wine team at the Food Standards Agency.

‘Surpassing the 1,000-vineyard-mark is a real milestone for our industry and cements our position as the UK’s fastest growing agricultural sector,’ said Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB.

‘We are growing sustainably with our production, and securing a 10% rise in sales, which is all the more remarkable with the wider decline in UK wine consumption.

‘As consumers start to feel more confident with the economy, they will likely have more disposable income to discover our wines in pubs, bars, and restaurants. We expect a wider re-boot that will support our future wines reaching new markets and new drinkers.’

The total area under vine in the UK now stands at 4,209 hectares, which represents a 123% increase over the past decade. The number of UK wineries has also increased to 221.

Production in 2023 totalled 161,960.84 hl, which is the equivalent of 21.6 million bottles, up 77% compared to 2022.

Wine GB data suggests that 76% of the wine produced in 2023 will be sparkling, while 23% will be still wine and 1% is earmarked for vermouth and other drinks.

Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape, accounting for 32% of the overall hectarage, followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Bacchus accounts for 8% of plantings in the UK, and Seyval Blanc and Solaris each make up 3%. Other hybrid varieties include Rondo and Regent.

Sales of sparkling wine have increased by 187% since 2018, rising from 2.2 million bottles to 6.2 million in 2023. Meanwhile, still wine sales are up by 117% to 2.6 million bottles over the same five-year period.

Sales are spread across a wide range of channels:

  • Supermarkets (30%)
  • Bars and restaurants (28%)
  • Cellar door sales (17%)
  • Direct online sales (11%)
  • Exports (8%)
  • Specialist wine merchants (6%)

‘GB wine is a success story that has shown extraordinary growth and development in the last decade as a result of significant investment,’ said Bates. ‘Vineyard and winery growth is projected to continue at pace.’


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