Record high number of new UK based wine producers opening – up 25% in just a year

Publications that covered this story include Daily Mail on 18 June 2018.
  • High quality of English wine continues to win over consumers
  • Investment bankers and hedge fund managers investing in UK vineyards

The number of new wine producers opening within the UK in a year hit a record high last year with 80 new wine producers starting up in 2017, up 25% from 64 the previous year, and more than double the 36 that opened five years ago*, our research shows.

Vineyards within the UK have become an increasingly fashionable among City workers looking to invest their bonuses. Prices for vineyards in Britain are much lower compared with more established wine producing areas in Europe.

The growth in UK based wine producers can also be attributed to the continuing popularity of English wine, particularly English sparkling wine.

English wine continues to be popular among consumers due to its high quality. UK vineyard owners typically aim for quality rather than volume when producing wine as British weather does not allow the growth of large yields.

The English wine industry has shown itself now to be resilient enough to overcome the effects of a bad season. English wine growers experienced disastrous weather conditions in May last year, which saw almost 50% of the English wine crop destroyed or damaged by frosts.

The pricing of English wine has also helped its popularity among consumers. With the recent fall in sterling, English wine has become increasingly competitive, especially in comparison with expensive imported wine from the continent.

The success of English wine has also been endorsed by a number of high profile individuals. For example, English sparkling wine is now served at Number 10 Downing Street receptions, instead of Champagne.

It has also been widely reported that English sparkling wine was served at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May.

James Simmonds, partner in our Nottingham office says: “Whilst City workers may have previously invested in the traditional wine regions of Bordeaux or Chianti, they now have the option of being part of the UK wine scene.”

“The high quality of English wine is now not only being recognised by domestic consumers but is also starting to win acclaim on an international level.”

“As English wine continues to thrive more producers and enthusiasts will likely seek to capitalise on its success this will help to drive further investment so that the present growth trend is further enforced.”

The number of new UK based wine producers opening annually hits a record high