IN THE NEWS: WINE INDUSTRY NOW ONE OF THE FASTEST-GROWING AGRICULTURAL SECTORS IN THE UK
With a record-breaking 3-million vine planted within the last year, the UK wine industry is now one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors.
Recent figures released by the industry’s trade body Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), state that the new record equates to approximately 690 hectares of vineyards and a 24% increase in the overall land now under vine, almost doubling the previous year’s effort (1.6 million).
There are currently over 500 commercial vineyards and 165 wineries operating in the UK today and overall sales of English wine are increasing significantly year-on-year with the industry expected to be producing 40 million bottles a year by 2040. WineGB have also identified that exports of English wine could reach £350 million within the same time frame.
This comes at a time when English and Welsh wines are enjoying much wider popularity in the, with more and more national retailers taking notice and stocking accordingly.
This has also provided a boost to wine tourism as a growing pastime, with many estates benefiting from diversifying a step further to accommodate, with an anticipated £658 million in wine tourism related revenue expected by 2040.
Estates such as the Wiston Estate in South Downs National Park have already seen a positive outcome from their diversification strategy; having planted their first vineyard in 2006 and their first harvest in 2008 they have since been awarded ‘Winery of the Year’ in the WineGB Awards 2018 with over 70 stockist across the UK, along with offering extensive vineyard & winery tours
This anticipated growth of both production and tourism will have an incredible ripple effect on development to accommodate both further diversification and expansion. This evolution will undoubtedly also increase job creation with the rural landscape furthering a prosperous rural economy.