Sparkling wine led wine production volumes in the UK last year

Sparkling wine led wine production volumes in the UK last year

Wine producers in the UK are celebrating a record-breaking harvest last year, according to recent figures.

Data released by trade body English Wine Producers (EWP) today (4 May) shows that the 2010 harvest was the country's largest on record, coming in at 30,346 hectolitres, the equivalent of around 4m bottles. The performance breaks the previous record of 3.5m bottles, EWP said.

The increase reflects the rise in planting in the UK in the last five years. Since 2004, vineyard area has increased by nearly 75% to 1323.5 hectares, with sparkling wine becoming the most widely-produced wine style.

In 2009, around 50% of total production was intended for sparkling wine. “Based on the level of growth of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier plantings over the last five years, it is evident that this style is now increasing year-on-year in volume,” EWP noted.

Calculations based on the current acreage indicate that, when in full production, UK wine volumes are expected to reach around 5m bottles.