English wine industry takes in second largest harvest

The English wine industry should be able to produce 5.06 million bottles on the back of its second-largest harvest in 2015, according to new figures from the Wine Standards Branch.

The 2015 harvest falls a little short of the record-breaking harvest from the previous year thanks to cooler conditions over the growing season.

This produced smaller grapes and led to producers harvesting up to 10 days later than normal.

But they have taken in grapes from 37,977 hl, according to the Wine Standards Branch of the Food Standards Agency.

The longer ripening period should produce grapes ideal for sparkling wine, according to generic body English Wine Producers.

Plantings also continue to rise, with WSB reporting total area under vine at 1,956ha, while the number of vineyards registered has gone from 470 in 2013 to 502 today. 

“These figures illustrate the steady but strong growth of the industry, and 2015 is still the second highest volume recorded,” said Barry Lewis, chief executive of the UK Vineyards Association. “The good news is that despite the lower volume, remains that the quality is looking to be very good and in line with industry predictions.”

The breakdown of production of still and sparkling remains approximately one-third to two-thirds.

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