English wine sales soar in top retailers as export markets grow
The number of countries importing English sparkling wine increased from 19 to 27 during 2016.
Figures released by DEFRA also showed a big increase in sales in some UK retailers, with English wine sales doubling in Marks & Spencer over the year and Waitrose increasing sales by 50%.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The number of countries enjoying our wine has increased by a third this year, and with major producers on track to deliver a tenfold increase in exports, we could soon be tapping into more countries.
“Our vintners are set for huge success in 2017 with wineries growing and more bottles on supermarket shelves.
“I hope people across the country will join me in raising a glass to this incredible success story.”
The industry now boasts sales of around £100 million a year and growing demand has led to land under vine doubling over the last 10 years, with 30 vineyards opening in the last two years alone.
English Wine Producers chairman Simon Robinson said:
"It's boom-time for English wines. The growing trend on the high street shows the retailers have really got behind them and the wine consumers of Britain are responding.
“Our export sales are also on the up, with new markets opening up around the world. We're looking forward to even more wines coming on to the market next year.”
Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, added: “The WSTA has been delighted to have led the charge in promoting English Wine producers, both at home and abroad.
“As we always expected the word has spread and English wine is now internationally recognised as a premium quality product and very much in demand.
“The WSTA was proud to lead the first ever English wine roundtable in March 2016 when the major producers committed to ambitious targets of increasing exports tenfold to 2.5 million bottles by 2020. It is fantastic to hear we are well on our way to achieving this.”