English wine producers celebrate record harvest
English wine producers have reported a record harvest for 2014 that will flood the market with 6.3 million bottles.
Production figures represent a 42% increase in volume on 2013 – which was the previous record holder – according to the Food Standards Agency.
Generic bodies English Wine Producers and United Kingdom Vineyards Association estimate that at least two-thirds of production is now sparkling wine, pointing to a production level of some 4 million bottles of bubbly from the 2014 harvest.
Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director at EWP, said: “Over the last years we seem to be continually breaking our own records, and the 2014 figures surpass everything. There’s no doubt about it – English wines really are on an upward trajectory.
“There’s no doubt about it – England’s future is certainly a bright one: growing acreage, larger volumes to sell to meet demand, international recognition through competition successes securing our reputation for quality. Added to this, next year the UK is hosting the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, and It couldn’t be at a better time – that will certainly put our industry at the centre of the world wine stage.”
UK vineyards enjoyed a “long warm spring and summer” in 2014, bringing “both quality and quantity”.
Although the autumn proved cooler than hoped, the grapes came in clean and healthy and in large volumes, according to viticultural consultant Stephen Skelton MW.
He said: “The last two years have provided excellent growing conditions for our grapes – great flowering weather and a warm summer. The vineyards have produced some very good quality grapes and volumes of still and sparkling wines.”