English wine: 2016 vintage is “high quality” despite volume drop

The volume of English wine produced last year dipped slightly in comparison to 2015, but 2016 has been declared “a high quality vintage”, according to the latest report.

English Wine Producers (EWP), which revealed the 2016 UK harvest figures at its annual trade tasting event, said the data showed 4.15m bottles were produced last year, which is below the current average annual production of 5m bottles.

The year started show with cool and wet conditions in the run up to June and continuing through July, which had an impact on fruit development and delayed veraison.

But following this period the UK enjoyed a long period of warm and dry weather through to early autumn and over harvest, which was later than usual. This boosted ripening and produced some high quality fruit, although berries were smaller and therefore overall volumes were down.

EWP added that stock levels of English wine are good and with grapes from many young vineyards yet to come on stream, volumes will rise in the future.

The trade body for English wine also commented on the recent news that UK vineyards were hit by frost this month. It said this has been widespread in some vineyards, while other sites have been completely unaffected. 

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